Imperial Oil is leading a joint industry project with Canadian Natural, Shell and Suncor Energy to work with GHGSat to investigate the use of satellite technology to provide more accurate and frequent measurements of fugitive greenhouse gas emissions from tailings ponds and mine faces in the oil sands.
Canada’s Oils Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) features the project on their web site at http://www.cosia.ca/initiatives/greenhouse_gases/cosia-in-space.
Vincent Latendresse, optical engineer at MPB Communications, recently snapped a selfie next to the payload primary instrument aperture for GHGSat’s demonstration satellite, GHGSat-D.
The image above is taken looking into the primary instrument baffle, where the coating on the lens makes it look like a mirror at visible wavelengths. The secondary instrument aperture is partially visible in the top-left of the image.
Pre-flight testing is ongoing and will continue into the summer for all payload, satellite, and ground segment systems for GHGSat-D.
GHGSat’s demonstration satellite, GHGSat-D, has been successfully integrated for preliminary testing in anticipation of launch later this year. The satellite is shown on a clean room bench at the UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory.
In the picture above, the payload primary instrument baffle is clearly visible, protruding from the right side satellite. The payload secondary instrument aperture is not clearly visible, but is on the same face of the satellite as the primary instrument baffle. The aperture on the top of the satellite in this image is the star tracker. Overall satellite dimensions are approximately 45 cm x 30 cm x 20 cm, and satellite mass is under 15 kg.
The new year promises to be exciting for GHGSat! GHGSat can now publicly confirm that a launch services agreement has been signed with Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organization, to launch GHGSat’s demonstration satellite as a secondary payload on a PSLV from Sriharikota, India in Q3 2015. The launch was arranged through Space Flight Laboratory’s launch service (http://utias-sfl.net/?page_id=233).
Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (“COSIA”) today highlighted a planned project with GHGSat to investigate the use of satellites to provide accurate measurement of fugitive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from tailing ponds and mine faces.
“We’re literally going ‘out of this world’ to solve oil sands GHG problems”, said Wayne Hillier, Director GHG for COSIA. The comments were made at COSIA’s 2014 Performance Update in Calgary, Alberta.
A series of satellite measurements will be made in the atmosphere above three pre-selected tailings ponds or mines and one other emission source. Emission rates will be calculated based on those measurements and will be compared with more conventional technology measurements, including the flux chamber methodology which is currently required for annual reporting to the Alberta government.
If successful, the GHGSat approach could replace the existing method, which has a high degree of uncertainty (20 to 50 percent), high costs and high risk since contractors must conduct measurements directly on the ponds or close to the mine faces.
For more information on COSIA, please visit www.cosia.ca.
Montreal, Quebec, August 11, 2014 – Today, GHGSat announced that LOOKNorth’s Technology Validation Program will co-fund a project to verify and validate GHGSat measurements at the oil sands an at two hydroelectric facilities being built in Canada’s North. The project will be performed over two years, culminating in satellite measurements in late 2015 and early 2016.
LOOKNorth (Leading Operational Observations and Knowledge for the North) is a national Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research hosted by C-CORE. In collaboration with a broad network of industry, northern, business and research partners, LOOKNorth validates and drives commercialization of monitoring technologies to support safe and sustainable development of Canada’s northern natural resources. It promotes the use of remote sensing technologies in environmental monitoring for northern stakeholder groups. For more information, please visit www.looknorth.org.
On August 7, 2014, Industry Minister James Moore announced an investment of close to $6.7M in twelve projects for the development of new Earth Observation (EO) products that will provide crucial data to better understand our planet and manage our resources. GHGSat has been awarded a contract for one of these twelve projects.
Under this contract, GHGSat will develop a beta version of a new and innovative application of EO data to better serve GHGSat’s customers in the oil sands. The primary objective of this application is for use in the monitoring of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the oil sands, and from tailings ponds in particular.
For more information, please see Industry Canada’s news release at http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=873919
GHGSat has filed a provisional patent application in the United States for its key technology. GHGSat will follow-up with an application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty to seek protection for its invention in over 140 countries throughout the world.
GHGSat’s technology enables atmospheric trace gases to be monitored by a miniature spectrometer with a precision in parts per million / billion, depending on the species, with spatial resolution in tens of meters. The unique data set generated by this technology will then be used to deliver a range of high-value products to customers, including leak detection, hot spot identification, local air quality metrics, and emission rate measurements.
GHGSat has formally authorized all subcontractors to build flight models of their respective subsystems. With this, GHGSat’s first satellite has taken another significant step towards launch in late 2015, and towards delivering revolutionary emissions monitoring services to the world.
The decision to proceed to this next step was taken after the successful conclusion of full system reviews in early 2014. GHGSat’s team and external experts agreed that the detailed design of the satellite met all mission requirements, with acceptable risk.
Several additional business and technical milestones are planned for 2014 – we look forward to an exciting year!
GHGSat has successfully passed a key milestone one its way to launching its first satellite. The milestone was passed in early October 2013, on schedule and on budget.
The milestone included both technical and business objectives. The business objective was to confirm the participation of a number customers in verification and validation of the first satellite, with support from regulatory authorities in appropriate jurisdictions. The technical objective was to demonstrate that the preliminary design of the satellite met all mission requirements, with acceptable risk.
The full team was involved in achieving this milestone, including 30 experts from four different organizations as well as external technical reviewers.