Iris, our second greenhouse gas emissions monitoring satellite, launched on 2 September 2020 at 21:51 ET.
Iris imagery will be 100x higher resolution than any comparable system. Using this high resolution data, we can detect methane emissions from specific sources such as oil and gas wells.
Incorporating lessons learned from “Claire”, our original technology demonstration satellite (launched in 2016), Iris will achieve a 10x performance improvement and higher resolution (25m).
These improvements will enable GHGSat to spot even smaller methane leaks and track their source with greater accuracy.
The main constituent of ‘natural gas’, methane accounts for a quarter of all man-made global warming. Methane has a serious impact on the environment, with 84x greater global warming potential than carbon dioxide, over a 20-year period.
Iris Fact File
|Launch Date||2 September 2020|
|Volume||Approx 20 x 30 x 40 cm (similar to a typical household microwave oven)|
|Spatial Resolution||<25 meters|
|Field of View||12km x 12km|
The Ride to Space
Launching from the spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, Iris flew on the Arianespace Vega Flight VV16, sharing the ride with 52 other small satellites.
Flight VV16 – the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) – a first for Vega and partners Avio and the European Space Agency.
The SSMS dispenser was composed of different modular components, put together as needed like building-blocks. The upper portion on this flight carried seven microsatellites, including Iris, weighing from 15kg to 150kg. The lower portion carried 46 smaller CubeSats.