SPACE surveillance technology developed by a Ponteland student has attracted the attention of the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Oliver Barber (17) has created a low-earth orbit (LEO) surveillance system that gathers intelligence to identify possible dangers before they become critical.

The work forms part of his A-Level Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).

Oliver's findings are now being examined by the MOD and the talented youngster, who wants to study aerospace engineering at university, has been invited to meet air vice-marshal Paul Godfrey, a senior Royal Air Force officer who serves as the first commander of UK Space Command.

“I've developed a system that uses hyperspectral imaging - a technique that can be used to find objects and identify materials – and can be used for preventative intelligence gathering, in particular by the British military,” said Oliver, who attends Dame Allan’s Schools.

“I’ve invested well over 120 hours on the project, created 3D models and HD renders to sit alongside my academic report and I’m excited to meet air vice-marshal Godfrey in person this month to discuss its potential.”

Oliver, who is studying maths, physics and history, connected with industry leaders at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, hyperspectral imaging firm HySpex and the UK’s Ministry of Defence Space Directorate to inform his work.

The UK Government this year launched its first ever strategy that brings together the UK’s civil and defence space activities into one integrated approach.

Principal Will Scott heaped praise on Oliver. He said: “Oliver has invested an incredible amount of time into his EPQ studies and demonstrated just how far students can go with these independent research projects.

“He is passionate about the subject and hopes to carve a career for himself in the industry one day, so to be making these steps at just 17-years-old, supported by teaching staff here, is really excellent.”