Claire Makes 500th Measurement!

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!