GHGSat’s demonstration satellite, GHGSat-D (or “Claire) has begun downlinking data to C-CORE’s new ground station in Inuvik, Canada. The Inuvik station, which was designed and built by C-CORE in 2017, is providing critical downlink capacity for Claire, enabling GHGSat to serve a growing number of customers.
Claire measures greenhouse gas emissions from industrial facilities around the world. Measurement data are stored onboard the satellite until they can be downlinked to ground stations. Since Claire is in a polar orbit, circling the Earth in North-South direction approximately every 98 minutes, she passes over ground stations at higher latitudes more often than ground stations at lower latitudes. In this way, the Inuvik station’s high latitude, well above the Arctic circle in northern Canada, enables GHGSat to downlink more data, and ultimately make more measurements with Claire and other GHGSat satellites.
The data downlink from Claire builds on an earlier collaboration in which C-CORE’s LOOKNorth Centre partnered with GHGSat in 2014 to test Claire’s greenhouse gas sensor. LOOKNorth is a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research, within the Government of Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence program. Its mandate is to foster innovation in Canada’s remote sensing sector and to promote commercial use of remote sensing technologies to support responsible, sustainable development of northern natural resources.
Manufacturing of GHGSat’s next satellite, called “GHGSat-C1” has begun! GHGSat-C1 is one of two new satellites being developed as a follow-up to GHGSat-D (aka Claire), GHGSat’s demonstration satellite launched in June of 2016.
GHGSat-C1 will address lessons learned from GHGSat-D, providing significant performance improvements while also adding several new features that will be unveiled in separate announcements in the coming weeks. The external appearance of this new satellite will be almost identical to GHGSat-D (shown below).
GHGSat is working with the same industrial team to build GHGSat-C1, including the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies – Space Flight Laboratory, MPB Communications, and Xiphos Systems Corporation.
GHGSat’s first satellite, Claire, is celebrating her first anniversary! A year ago today, Claire was launched from India to her orbit high above our beautiful planet.
She has since delivered almost 1300 measurements of hundreds of sites. The images below include an early calibration measurement from the sands of the Sahara, a visible plume from a power station in the steppes of Russia, and a methane measurement from the jungles of Africa.
We celebrate the remarkable performance of a small satellite that is helping us realize big dreams.
Montreal, Quebec, MAY 23, 2017 – Today, GHGSat unveiled sample imagery from its demonstration satellite, Claire. GHGSat has detected emissions of methane, an important greenhouse gas, from a hydroelectric facility under construction in Africa. GHGSat is making sample imagery and data for this facility available for evaluation by qualified parties.
Claire captures an array of over 200,000 atmospheric measurements around an industrial facility in a few seconds. These measurements are processed to produce imagery showing a “heat map” of greenhouse gas concentrations from the facility.
Using weather data and the retrieved array of greenhouse gas concentrations, GHGSat can estimate the rate at which an industrial facility releases greenhouse gases into the air. Flooding of hydroelectric reservoirs in tropical regions causes organic matter to decompose, often producing methane, which is then emitted into the air as water is released from the reservoir. The amount of methane emitted typically decreases over time, and varies with the amount of water released from the reservoir. GHGSat will collect local data in the coming weeks to further validate its measurements, and perform additional satellite measurements of the facility to monitor emissions rates over time.
“GHGSat has been reviewing measurements of various facilities with customers for several months. Today’s unveiling is intended to facilitate collaboration with and evaluation by qualified parties such as academic and government institutions,” said Stéphane Germain, President and CEO of GHGSat. “We are excited by the unique insights Claire’s data can provide, and want to raise awareness of GHGSat’s services around the world.”
GHGSat will present technical details of its imagery and system at several upcoming international conferences. Further details and information on how to access GHGSat’s sample data can be found at the following link.
Every Monday on GHGSat’s LinkedIn page, we will feature an industrial site which will be monitored on that day by our satellite GHGSat-D (Claire). Keep an eye out for the first site tomorrow!
Click the image below, or the following link: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ghgsat-inc-
GHGSat is excited to announce that we have been shortlisted for an award at the Global Petroleum Show in the Environmental Excellence category! We are honored to be among this group of innovative finalists! Stay tuned, the winners are revealed on June 13, 2017.
GHGSat announced this week during the “Space in Canada” panel at the 33rd Space Symposium that it has performed its 1000th measurement with its demonstration satellite, “Claire”. This particular measurement is of a landfill in Japan.
This milestone was reached more than two months ahead of schedule, and validates an important element of GHGSat’s business case. GHGSat announced earlier this year that it has ordered two more satellites, based in part on successful performance demonstrations like this one.
GHGSat continues to measure carbon dioxide and methane emissions from sites around the world, including oil & gas facilities, power stations, coal mines, landfills, animal feedlots, and other sources. GHGSat has been delivering data products and services to customers for several months.
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GHGSat has started work on two new satellites, called GHGSat-C1 and GHGSat-C2. The satellites will share the same design but will stagger manufacturing for planned launches in H2 2018 and H1 2019. These satellites are indicative of the strong market response to GHGSat products and services in just 8 months after launch of GHGSat’s demonstration satellite, Claire.
GHGSat’s new satellites will provide significant performance improvements with only incremental design changes from GHGSat’s demonstration satellite, benefiting directly from lessons learned from on-orbit experience. Both new satellites with feature a spatial resolution of < 25 m, measurement precision targeting 1% of background for methane, and improvements in detection thresholds for both methane and carbon dioxide. The additional capacity and improved performance provided by these new satellites will enable GHGSat to expand services and reinforce GHGSat’s position as the only proven source of facility-level GHG emission data available from satellites for years to come.
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On 09 December 2016, Claire performed her 500th measurement – this time of a cement plant in South Africa. All satellite systems continue to operate normally, and GHGSat plans to double Claire’s measurement rate as of early 2017.
As we reach the end of 2016, GHGSat celebrates an exciting year by offering some samples of images collected by Claire in orbit and analyzed by the team on the ground.
The first set of images below is from summer 2016, during Claire’s commissioning.
- “Raw” images from Claire are two-dimensional surface images overlaid with circular absorption lines corresponding to carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere in the field of view of the image. One of the first such images was taken over the Arabian desert (left panel), and clearly confirmed that Claire’s primary instrument had survived launch and was performing as expected.
- GHGSat must be able to geo-reference measurements with sufficient precision to identify facilities of interest. One of GHGSat’s first efforts is shown below for a hydroelectric reservoir in Canada (middle panel). Again, this test confirmed GHGSat’s ability to meet specifications.
- A successful measurement of emissions from any site requires tracking of the site for an extended period of time. An early tracking test over an animal feedlot (right panel) verified that Claire’s attitude determination and control system exceeded specifications.
The second set of images below illustrates several steps of GHGSat post-processing. These images are from a measurement of an Australian coal mine in early November, 2016.
- The left panel is the raw image from Claire. Note that the raw image in the left panel is approximately inverted compared to the right-hand panel.
- GHGSat’s retrieval algorithms produce several outputs, including geo-referenced surface reflectance as shown in the right-hand image.
One of the significant insights from these images is that the same features are readily recognizable in both images – demonstrating successful performance of GHGSat retrieval algorithms.
The same retrieval algorithms that generate the surface reflectance image such as the one shown above also generate carbon dioxide and methane data. GHGSat is currently providing interim deliveries of gas retrievals to customers, and plans to release data publicly in early 2017.
Our team is excited for the year ahead, and we wish all our readers a wonderful Holiday Season!
On October 25th, 2016, Boeing, GHGSat and C-Core unveiled partnering efforts to advance remote sensing technologies in Canada.
Some of the specific efforts unveiled include:
- Offering of GHGSat products and services to Boeing customers
- Deploying two new ground stations with C-Core in support of small satellite constellations, including GHGSat satellites
GHGSat is proud to work with these two strong partners to accelerate the deployment of greenhouse gas monitoring services worldwide.