Responding to growing demand in market and success of its one-of-a-kind space-based sensor, GHGSat of Montreal is fast-tracking plans to build and launch greenhouse gas monitoring satellites. Speaking to SpaceNews, GHGSat President Stéphane Germain said that they have a minimum of a 3-5 year market advantage over anybody who aims to measure emissions arising out of individual facilities.
Germain stressed on the company’s intention to retain that lead and increase it, by expanding more quickly. The company’s first satellite, GHGSat-D had been launched back in June 2016 on India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. The avionics and ground systems are provided by Xiphos Systems Corporation, Montreal as they specialize in modifying terrestrial computers along with adapting network technologies to last in harsh environments.
Built by the University of Toronto’s Space Flight Laboratory, the demonstration satellite named Claire is a 15-kilogram microsatellite with two spectrometers. According to Germain, the satellite records emissions arising out of individual facilities and it is the first instance of a satellite having been designed to perform such a task in the world. Germain also said that there is a huge customer base lined up to see the results.
There are plans on the part of GHGSat to launchGHGSat-C1, which will be the company’s second satellite. It’s slated to be launched this summer, followed byGHGSat-C2, which will be the third satellite, in the beginning of 2020. According to Adam Pinsky, GHGSat marketing coordinator, GHGSat-C1 will be able to produce images with 25 meters per pixel spatial resolution.
GHGSat’s customer list includes the likes of Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance, Imperial Oil, Hydro Quebec and Manitoba Hydro, Shell Canada Natural Resources Ltd. and Suncor Energy. Till date, the firm has gathered $20 million. Out of this, $10 million was raised during a funding round of Series A2, which was announced in the month of September 2018.