The impact of greenhouse gas emissions on our climate and the well-being of our home planet is a global concern. A Canadian company has come up with an innovative idea to help control and reduce industrial emissions: what if space were part of the solution?
That’s exactly what Stéphane Germain, an aerospace engineer, had in mind when he founded GHGSat, a small company that specializes in satellite technology. GHGSat has taken on the ambitious mission of becoming the global reference for measuring greenhouse gases emitted by industrial facilities.
Stéphane Germain on camera:
GHGSat was created to seize a market opportunity. We realized that businesses around the world need regular, precise information on their gas emissions to assist them in managing their production.
At GHGSat, we developed an instrument that can provide these measurements from space with better accuracy—and at a fraction of the cost of other methods.
We built a nanosatellite that can measure the spectral fingerprints of the two most significant greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide and methane.
This project literally took flight because of investments we received from various sources, including the Canadian Space Agency.
In 2016, GHGSat launched Claire, its first nanosatellite. Since then, Claire has delivered an impressive amount of data: in just a few seconds, its sensors can capture over 200,000 atmospheric measurements in an area covering 6 km around an industrial site.
This data is used to produce “heat maps” that show greenhouse gas concentrations. These images can help determine whether production is normal or if there is a problem.
Mr. Germain on camera:
In countries where emissions are taxed, greenhouse gases represent a financial risk for our customers. Frequent and accurate data is the first step to better understanding and controlling their production, which we believe will lead to reducing pollution as well as the financial risk.
Martin Hébert on camera:
GHGSat is a great example of a small company that successfully leveraged government funding to develop and test a new technology that is now a commercial success. This is how the Canadian Space Agency’s funding programs spur innovation and contribute to Canada’s economic growth.
Mr. Germain on camera:
Building on the success of Claire’s mission, we are now working on two new nanosatellites to offer more services to our customers worldwide. We are excited for the future and are proud of the positive contribution we are making to the global fight against climate change.