GHGSat uses SWIR imagery to improve air quality

We at Sensors Unlimited are excited to share the below GHGSat success story. Developed by MPB Communications Inc. the GHGSat’s microSat, nicknamed "Claire," celebrtates its second year in space this June. Flying a Sensors Unlimited 640HSX InGaAs SWIR Camera  this micro satellite circles the Earth every 90 minutes collecting infrared images. Data from the microSat will enable industries to monitor and quantify their own carbon dioxide and methane emissions in order to adjust and better manage and reduce their impact on air quality.

"Our team at Sensors Unlimited is proud that our InGaAs camera is contributing to the mission of detecting emissions of greenhouse gases from space. Though designed for terrestrial use, the small swap, the robustness, the high-sensitivity and high-reliability of our SWIR technology is helping MPB and GHGSat exceed their mission goals.  In the first year they surveyed 1300 sites and the satellite is going strong, approaching 2 years in orbit" Doug Malchow, Business Development Manager Sensors Unlimited.

GHGSat-D (Greenhouse Gas Satellite - Demonstrator)  
Content provided by GHGSat
GHGSat’s first satellite GHGSat-D, nicknamed “Claire”, was successfully launched at 23:56 EDT on 21 June 2016, and reached its planned orbit less than 30 minutes later. GHGSat commissioned Claire within one month of launch, and initial images were released in the Fall of 2016.
CLAIRE orbits the Earth approximately 15 times per day, performing several different types of measurements: Infrared image of customer site, one-time concentration map of customer site (provided with abundance dataset) and/or a Full-year monitoring, including emissions rate estimates


How does CLAIRE work?
Gases absorb light at specific wavelengths, creating a “spectral fingerprint” for each gas. The satellite finds those fingerprints using sunlight, and measures the brightness of those fingerprints to determine how much of each gas is present in the field of view of the satellite. CLAIRE  measures two gas fingerprints – carbon dioxide and methane – the two most significant greenhouse gases.

The satellite orbits the Earth non-stop, every day, taking measurements from industrial sites anywhere in the world. For example, it measures oil wells in Texas, oil sands in Canada, power plants in Europe, coal mines in China, and even rice paddies in Vietnam. The output of those measurements includes imagery and data products.

The value of understanding greenhouse gas emissions
Industrial site operators can use CLAIRE’s measurements to better understand their greenhouse gas emissions, enabling them to control and ultimately reduce them. For example, CLAIRE can help coal mine and landfill operators find significant leaks of methane, then measure those leaks to justify a business case for gas-fired electricity generation.