Hugo delivers first methane plume image

GHGSat-C2 “Hugo”, the company’s third satellite, delivered its ‘first light image’ – the satellite’s first image of a methane plume. This key milestone was achieved in less than a week since launch on 24 January 2021.

The new satellite detected a methane plume from an oil and gas facility while overflying Asia (Figure 1). A day later, GHGSat tasked their second satellite “Iris”, equipped with the same, patented high-resolution instrument, to verify the data capture (Figure 2). Initial results indicate that Hugo has the same capability as Iris, “out of the box”.

Figure 1  Figure 2

Figure 1                                                                                                                                                             Figure 2

Hugo is equipped with a state-of-the-art sensor able to detect methane emissions sources 100 times smaller than some satellites, while also attributing emissions sources with 100 times higher precision than other satellites currently in orbit. By the end of 2022, the company will have a constellation of 10 emissions monitoring satellites, delivering data to commercial and governmental customers worldwide.

Hugo launched as part of the Transporter-1 SpaceX mission aboard a Falcon 9 from Cape Canavarel Space Force Station at 10:00 ET on 24 January 2021 – a rideshare that set a new world record for the largest number of satellites to be launched from a single rocket.

Stephane Germain, CEO of GHGSat, said: “The speed of this first methane observation is exceptional and we’re very proud to have Hugo detecting emissions within its first week in orbit.”