Montreal, August 26, 2020. GHGSat, the only emissions monitoring company with its own satellites, is pleased to announce that its high resolution data has been accepted for assessment by the European Space Agency (ESA) Earthnet Third Party Mission (TPM) programme.
ESA’s TPM initiative sponsors the cost of access to satellite data for research and Earth observation (EO) purposes, enabling the scientific community to develop applications. As an extension of this collaboration, 5% of the data collected by GHGSat’s satellite, “Iris”, will be made available to the scientific community through an Announcement of Opportunity that was issued jointly by ESA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) in early 2020.
Iris (GHGSat-C1) is the company’s second satellite, scheduled to launch in September 2020. Iris will join Claire (GHGSat-D), their technology demonstrator currently in orbit, which pioneered high resolution space-based methane emission monitoring. Generating imagery with 50m resolution (100 times higher than any other satellite system in orbit), Claire has enabled methane emissions from specific sources, such as oil and gas wells, to be detected from space. The new satellite, Iris, offers 10 times greater performance and will be able to image down to 25m on the ground and doubling the frequency of the satellite revisit for any area, enabling GHGSat to spot even smaller methane leaks and track their source with even greater accuracy.
GHGSat CEO, Stephane Germain, commented, “We are pleased to be working with ESA and CSA on provision of data and now to undergo ESA assessment in anticipation of becoming an Earthnet Third Party Mission. We look forward to the scientific developments that will be made possible through these initiatives.”
ESA Earthnet TPM programme manager, Giuseppe Ottavianelli, welcomed GHGSat to the assessment process saying, “GHGSat’s demonstration satellite achieved important technical milestones and ESA looks forward to assessing the commercialisation satellite, Iris, as a possible contributor to our Earthnet Third Party Mission programme. The additional data provided through our agreement with CSA and GHGSat is already generating interest that we expect to grow with new climate research initiatives. ESA, jointly with the Canadian Space Agency, has published an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) call, Iris for ESA & CSA to access the data, that requires the submission of a project proposal.”
The Earthnet TPM is an ESA framework that enables the collection and distribution of data from non-ESA satellite missions free-of-charge for international Principal Investigators. ESA allows the data to be used for research and applications development including preparation of future operational use. The data is also used by ESA teams to support internal projects.
Through the TPM initiative, ESA and its members aim to establish dialogues with mission providers and promote global cooperation between space agencies and companies to make resources and knowledge available to the EO community. The TPM initiative has been in operation for more than 40 years and is funded under ESA’s Earthnet programme.