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The MethaneSAT satellite begins its mission to identify gas leaks on our planet

The MethaneSAT satellite begins its mission to identify gas leaks on our planet

Observing our planet has reached a new stage with the successful launch of MethaneSAT, a satellite designed to map and measure methane emissions on a global scale. This ambitious project paves the way for more precise and responsible management of this powerful air pollutant.

As a result, this initiative can transform our approach to environmental monitoring and contribute to the fight against climate change.

A mission dedicated to monitoring methane gas

the Monday 4 March, methane sat It successfully separated from SpaceX's Transporter-10 rocket, marking the beginning of its mission to monitor emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Developed by an affiliate of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), this satellite aims to stimulate the reduction of methane emissions, initially focusing on oil and gas operations, the main sources of these emissions.

MethaneSAT prototype data was collected in 2021.

Chairman of EDF, Fred KruppHe stresses the importance of this initiative: “ Reducing methane pollution from fossil fuel operations, agriculture, and other sectors is the fastest way to slow the rate of warming while continuing to decarbonize our energy systems. »

MethaneSat will play a crucial role in providing comprehensive data on these pollution on a global scale, allowing emissions to be traced back to their source.

MethaneSat capabilities and forecasts

With its ability to accurately and highly accurately measure methane levels over large areas, MethaneSAT will identify large methane emitters, including diffuse sources that account for the majority of emissions in many regions. Stephen HamburgEDF Chief Scientist and MethaneSAT Project Manager explains: “ Knowing how much methane comes from where and how rates change is essential. »

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MethaneSat is under construction

The MethaneSAT satellite orbits the Earth 15 times a day and will measure changes in methane concentrations down to three parts per billion. This is amazing High sensitivitycoupled with high resolution and wide field of view, will allow MethaneSAT to provide a complete picture of emissions.

Transparency and accountability

Interactive emissions data can be accessed from the website www.methanesat.org and on Google Earth Enginea geospatial data platform used by over 100,000 experts and analysts.

Dr. Kelly Levine, Head of Science, Data Change and Systems at the Bezos Earth Fund, says: Methane emissions have been overlooked and difficult to detect for a very long time. MethaneSAT is a game-changer, putting science and data at the forefront. »

MethaneSAT will target specific regions of the world.

Towards improved methane management

In addition to identifying sources and emission rates for a given region, MethaneSAT will allow comparison of emission loss rates across the world's major oil and gas regions and evaluate performance over time. Analytics developed specifically for the mission will trace these emissions back to their sources within target areas.

As methane standards are integrated into national policies and trade agreements, MethaneSAT will help ensure targets are met and demonstrate where the reductions are being claimed. More than 150 countries have signed this agreement Global Methane PledgeIt has pledged to reduce its collective methane emissions by at least 30% compared to 2020 levels by 2030.

At the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), more than 50 companies announced a charter to decarbonize oil and gas, pledging to virtually eliminate methane emissions and routine flaring.

The satellite was built in Colorado by BAE Systems' Space and Mission Systems unit. (formerly Ball Aerospace) and Blue Canyon Technologies.

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This initiative is made possible through the donor support of the European Development Fund and partnership with the New Zealand Government, with significant contributions from the Bezos Earth Fund, Arnold Ventures, the Robertson Foundation and the TED Audacious Project.

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