Air & Space Evidence

The World’s First Space Detective Agency

Air & Space Evidence Ltd is an award-winning academic spin-off company, originating from University College London (UCL). We were founded in late 2014 to provide an investigatory service to clients by using satellite Earth observation (EO) data as intelligence information and evidence. We became known as the World's first Space Detective Agency and Fast Company named us as their World Changing Company Idea 2015.

Companies operating in the space sector do not usually have a strong connection with law enforcement and evidential needs. Our company is utterly unique, combining experience of operationalising satellite tools to real world monitoring scenarios, alongside distinct environmental enforcement and legal expertise. More specifically we have long-standing expertise in a wide selection of EO based information imaging platforms. This includes data capture and management and analysis of large data sets from a wide range of satellite sensors, the professional interpretation of what an image actually shows, its significance in the context of an investigation, and an assessment of the accuracy of the information and the processing steps applied. We also have experience of designing and implementing bespoke detection models (to find illegality that the Government is not aware of). Alongside this we have a 20-year history in the use of EO in a legal context – including its use in regulatory monitoring programmes and as evidence in courts.

We have been developing a number of pioneering monitoring applications to tackle a range of environmental problems. We are the European leaders in using EO for environmental crime monitoring and are the first company in the world to offer a waste crime monitoring detection programme based on satellite data and expert analysis.

Our three Directors have over 80 years’ combined experience working in academia, industry, and intelligence. 

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Ray Purdy (CEO & Founder)

Previously a legal academic at the University of Oxford (where he retains a part-time Fellowship), University College London, and Imperial College. His key research areas were the use of EO as evidence and the capacity of EO to monitor and enforce environmental laws (and has numerous publications in these fields). He has undertaken projects worth an estimated £10 million for organizations including the World Bank, European Commission, European Committee of the Regions, European Space Agency, International Energy Agency, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, blue-chip companies, and numerous Research Councils and governments. His work has been directly reported within United Nations Committees and he has been a special advisor to the UK Parliament.


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Dr Ray Harris (Chief Business Intelligence Officer & Founder)

Previously a satellite remote sensing academic at the University of Durham and University College London (UCL). At UCL he was a Professor of Remote Sensing and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences, where he was the author/editor of five books on Earth observation, plus large numbers of journal articles, book chapters and reports. He also spent eight years in industry working for Software Sciences and then Logica on developing operational computer systems to apply satellite remote sensing data and GIS in real world situations. He has worked with NASA, European Space Agency, Japanese Space Agency, UK Space Agency and the European Commission on applications of satellite remote sensing data and on data policy.


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Jon Carver (Chief Techonology Officer)

Previously in the UK defence intelligence community specialising in the analysis of data from satellite and airborne (including UAV) imaging sensors. He spent time at the Joint Air Reconnaissance and intelligence Centre, Defence Science and Technology Laboratories and the Royal Air Forces Tactical Imagery Intelligence Wing. With access to cutting edge sensor technology from the UK, US and NATO ISR community, as well as data from commercial sources, he has spent 1000s of hours interpreting remote sensing and GNSS tracking data to produce strategic intelligence products for a wide variety of uses. He has vast expertise in extracting information beyond the scope of standard procedures, as well as designing detection solutions and models.


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