GHGSat-C1 – Iris

  • Iris can map plumes of methane in the atmosphere at high-resolution.
  • The satellite can detect and measure methane emissions from point sources 100 times smaller than any comparable system with a resolution 100 times higher.
  • No other commercial operator or state-funded space organization can do this.
  • Together, our data and analytics deliver intelligence to take action and reduce emissions.

Iris Fact File

  • Launch:                             September 2nd, 2020 Watch the launch
  • Field of view:                    12km x 12km
  • Size:                                    20 x 30 x 40cm
  • Weight:                              16kg

First Results

Conrolled Release, Alberta - Canada, CH4 measurementIris was tasked on 15 September 2020, with measuring a controlled release of methane from a facility in Alberta, Canada. Ground measurements of the controlled release confirmed an emission rate of 260 kgCH4/hr.

The satellite concentration map is overlaid on a Google Map background.

An aircraft fitted with the same, patented GHGSat high-resolution sensor, was flown over the site at the same time to provide a benchmark. Below are two measurements of the same controlled release as seen by our aircraft instrument (GHGSat-AV) with methane concentrations overlaid of visible light imagery from GHGSat’s auxiliary camera.

  • The controlled release started several minutes ahead of the satellite measurement.
  • The GHGSat-AV measurement immediately preceding and following the satellite measurement visually corroborate the wind direction.
  • The plume shape shown in the satellite measurement, in turn, corroborates the shifting winds.

Instrument parameters, such as pixel size are different for GHGSat-C1 and GHGSat-AV, leading to differences in:

  • Detection thresholds (the level/scale at which the instrument can detect an emission)
  • Methane concentrations per pixel relative to the source
Controlled Release, Alberta - Canada, CH4 measurement
Controlled Release, Alberta - Canada, CH4 measurement

For a more detailed technical discussion of these results, please contact [email protected].

First Light

Iris’s first light – the spacecraft’s first observation of a methane emission – was detected over Central Asia within just 7 days of the satellite launching on 2 September 2020.

Read more

GHGSat Constellation

Iris is the second satellite in our planned constellation of 10 global emissions monitoring satellites scheduled to be in orbit by 2022.  Our third satellite, GHGSat-C2 “Hugo” is due to launch in early 2021 with SpaceX Transporter-1 mission rideshare. “Claire”, our technology demonstrator, launched in 2016. To date she has acquired over 60,000 measurements and is still going strong!