Space Flight Laboratory (SFL), a developer of 53 distinct microspace missions, announced the successful measurement of atmospheric methane by the GHGSat-C1 greenhouse gas monitoring microsatellite that utilizes a NEMO platform developed by SFL.
The methane emission from a source on the Earth’s surface is the smallest ever detected by satellite, confirmed GHGSat Inc. of Montreal.
Less than a week after the September launch of GHGSat-C1 (‘Iris’), GHGSat Inc. recorded the microsatellite’s first successful measurement of a methane emission from a known oil and gas facility in Turkmenistan. A week later, the satellite operator tasked Iris to measure a much smaller, controlled methane release from a test site in Alberta, Canada. The satellite-based measurement was successful and confirmed with an airborne sensor.
“Results indicate initial performance [of GHGSat-C1] is five times better than GHGSat-D,” said GHGSat Inc. President Stephane Germain, referring to the GHGSat demonstration mission launched in 2016.
GHGSat Inc. created the sample image by colorizing the methane concentration measurements that exceeded normal background levels captured over the Alberta test site. The colorized measurements are overlaid on an aerial photograph to provide context.
GHGSat-C1 (‘Iris’) was launched on September 2, 2020, aboard an Arianespace Vega rocket from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana. Also on that launch was NEMO-HD, an Earth observation microsatellite built by SFL for Slovenia.
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