What is MethaneSAT?

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What is MethaneSAT? Blog Image


Recently, the MethaneSAT satellite was launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon9 rocket from California.

About MethaneSAT

  • It will track and measure methane emissions at a global scale.
  • It will provide more details and have a much wider field of view than any of its predecessors.
  • The entity behind MethaneSAT is the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) — a US-based nonprofit environmental advocacy group.
  • It is developed in collaboration with Harvard University, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and the New Zealand Space Agency.
  • It will orbit the Earth 15 times a day, monitoring the oil and gas sector.
  • It will create a large amount of data, which will tell “how much methane is coming from where, who’s responsible, and are those emissions going up or down over time”,
  • The data collected by this will be made public for free in near real-time. This will allow stakeholders and regulators to take action to reduce methane emissions.
  • Features
    • t is equipped with a high-resolution infrared sensor and a spectrometer.
    • It can track differences in methane concentrations as small as three parts per billion in the atmosphere, which enables it to pick up smaller emissions sources than the previous satellites.
    • It also has a wide-camera view — of about 200 km by 200 km — allowing it to identify larger emitters so-called “super emitters”.
  • The collected data will be analysed using cloud-computing and AI technology developed by Google — the company is a mission partner — and the data will be made public through Google’s Earth Engine platform.

Q1) What is cloud computing?

It is the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.

Source: Meet MethaneSAT, a satellite which will ‘name and shame’ methane emitters