Environmental group plans satellite to track greenhouse gas emissions
13 April 2018
An environmental group announced plans 11 April to develop and operate its own satellite to track one particular greenhouse gas, the latest sign of the proliferation of smallsat technology.
In a presentation at the TED conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), said that his organisation planned to develop MethaneSAT, a small satellite designed specifically to measure methane emissions from human activities.
The satellite, the organisation says, will be able to provide data on methane emissions, particularly from oil and gas facilities, with greater precision than existing satellites or other sensors. EDF plans to use the satellite to monitor 50 major oil and gas regions that account for more than 80 percent of global methane production, revisiting them on intervals of seven days or less. EDF will make data collected by MethaneSAT freely available.
Image credit: EDF - An illustration of MethaneSAT, a small satellite designed to track methane emissions from human activities. The spacecraft's design is still under development.