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New technology to track down stolen vehicles

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A START-UP company near Warrington is developing new technology to make tracking stolen vehicles faster and more reliable.
Nantrack is based at the STFC Daresbury Laboratory and uses nanosatellite technology to track down stolen vehicles
More than 300 vehicles are stolen each day in the UK, with vehicle thefts more than doubling over the last five years. More than half are never recovered.
Nantrack is about to change that using nanosatellite technology, and is the first company to join the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre United Kingdom (ESA BIC UK) at one of its new locations at STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory.
The company is taking advantage of an ever-growing network of nanosatellites to develop a vehicle tracking device that will allow near 100 per cent coverage. Nanosatellites, which are often not much larger than a shoebox, orbit closer to the earth than traditional, larger satellites, providing optimum conditions for land observation and communications and better protection from signal jamming.
Using the data generated by these nanosatellites, the Nantrack device will locate stolen vehicles where GSM only tracking can often struggle.
Ross Bagher, director at Nantrack said: “For Nantrack, joining ESA BIC UK gives us access not only to the space tech and expertise available at STFC and ESA, but also to the all-important financial and business support.  The applications for our new technology are vast, from insurance companies and major logistics firms to any local taxi company, and being a member of the ESA BIC UK gives us valuable credibility with our potential customers and investors, which is so crucial to any start-up.”
Delyth Edwards, business incubation programmes manager at STFC, said: “By rolling out the ESA BIC programme across the UK, STFC is making it easier for start-ups, regardless of their location, to access the essential support they need to innovate and gain a competitive advantage in a global marketplace.
“Companies incubated at the ESA BIC UK have a 92 per cent success rate, and I’m thrilled to be able to support Nantrack in the development of its pioneering technology as the first company to join the programme at Daresbury Laboratory.”
Since joining the ESA BIC UK, Nantrack is also taking advantage of the advanced digital prototyping and 3D printing facilities and expertise available onsite at Daresbury Laboratory to print the first prototypes of their device.
Mr Bagher added: “For a small business, turning a new idea into a viable commercial reality can be a long, expensive and challenging process, and having access to these technologies on site here at Sci-Tech Daresbury will help us accelerate the process significantly.”
Further information about support for SMEs at Daresbury Laboratory can be found at the STFC website.

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