With UK move GHGSat looks to further secure global presence

GHGSat satellites. Credit: GHGSat.

GHGSat has made another move to further secure its global presence, this time inking a new initiative with the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) along with announcing plans for a new UK base of operations.

The move comes almost two months after securing a deal with Bloomberg for data of the US Permian Basin. GHGSat is a leading the charge to provide commercial global emissions data.

The company is currently scouting for a location to setup its UK base of operations which would be focused on analytics.

The project with NPL is already underway and is focused on NPL using GHGSat’s Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) “remote sensing capability to support the development of novel commercial satellite validation services.”

In a briefing GHGSat said “the ‘Differential Absorption Lidar’ is a mobile laboratory utilizing a laser to measure emissions up to 1 km away from their point of origin. NPL and GHGSat will collect DIAL and satellite measurements of methane from a British landfill. Those results will be combined with a co-design exercise with energy companies for using the sensor combination to monitor methane emissions from key pipeline infrastructure. The landfill measurements are expected to take place this summer.

The project with NPL is being funded by the European Space Agency.

GHGSat-C1 known as Iris.
GHGSat-C1 known as Iris. Credit: GHGSat.

Adina Gillespie, European Business Development Director said “the UK is an ideal location for a global analytics base. It is not only a major player in the ‘new space’ economy, the UK has a distinguished track record in atmospheric science and processing. Since launch, Claire has provided 60,000 measurements of industrial facilities. With that number expected to grow to over 150,000 measurements annually when GHGSat’s next 10 satellites are operational, we will have vast amounts of data to manage and interrogate. Combining UK talent with an ambitious climate agenda makes the UK a great place for GHGSat’s new analytics centre.

Rod Robinson, Principal Research Scientist, from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) said “we are delighted to be working with GHGSat on this exciting new venture. Having pioneered high resolution methane emissions monitoring from space, and with almost four years of data in their library, they are the ideal partner to help us in the development of a novel ground-based validation service for methane monitoring satellites.”

GHGSat Iris satellite
GHGSat Iris satellite. Credit: GHGSat.

The deal has been in the works for sometime, and a recent visit to the UK in early March by a Canadian space industry and government delegation, which included GHGSat, helped close the deal.

The delegation to the UK included more than 20 representatives from industry and government. They visited the Harwell Space Cluster in Oxfordshire as well as organizations in London, Surrey Research Park and Glasgow.

GHGSat has one satellite in orbit, Claire, its first demonstration satellite. The company has two more satellites scheduled to launch this year, Iris and Hugo. The new satellites will “provide higher resolution – imaging down to 25m2 on the ground from their vantage points 500km up.” Once these satellites are launched, GHGSat will begin construction on more satellites for a small constellation.

Iris is scheduled to launch on an Arianespace Vega mission on June 18.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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