Earth observation company GHGSat is planning to launch three greenhouse gas-monitoring satellites in the fall, including its first CO2-monitoring satellite.
“We’re looking at the performance of this instrument, and how it can bring to bear new information to complement what research is already being done on CO2 emissions,” Jean-Francois Gauthier, vice president of strategy at Montreal -based GHGSat, tells Connectivity Business News in this episode of “The Dish” podcast.
Gauthier last week revealed to CBN that Vienna, Va.-based space-based data analytics provider and satellite operator Spire Global (NYSE: SPIR), will transport the next three planned satellites in orbit post-launch.
Measuring CO2 is much more complex and difficult than measuring methane because of CO2’s abundance in Earth’s atmosphere, Gauthier tells CBN, therefore its potency cannot be measured unless it’s particularly strong. GHGSat designed its satellite to measure the level of enhanced CO2 in the atmosphere rather than its presence, he says.
As the primary component of natural gas, methane has greater monetary value, and ““if you’re leaking natural gas, well, you’re leaking product,” Gauthier notes. “You’re basically losing revenue.”
GHGSat is working with petroleum companies Shell, Chevron and TotalEnergies on a project that measures methane emissions from offshore oil sites, Gauthier said, adding that the collaboration is the first time satellites will be used to measure methane emissions at sea.
Because emissions-monitoring satellites operate in the shortwave infrared spectrum, where light is absorbed by water, designing a satellite that can take measurements from marine locations is a technological challenge, according to Gauthier.
Listen as Gauthier elaborates on how GHGSat is adapting its satellite to measure methane emissions at sea, and why satellites are critical for environmental sustainability.
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