A new satellite has been launched that will monitor greenhouse gas emissions. The satellite is called Iris. It was launched on September 2. It was launched by GHGSat. GHGSat is a private company based in Canada. It claims to trace gas emissions from any industrial site in the world. GHGSat said that Iris is a powerful satellite. It can monitor emissions of methane in Earth’s atmosphere. Methane is one of the key gases responsible for climate change. The satellite provides high-resolution pictures. This helps the satellite to identify the source of emissions. Iris is a part of the planned constellation of ten spacecraft. The company expects the constellation to be ready by 2022 end.
GHGSat said that Iris’ calibration will enhance the overall performance. The company added that it is working with the European Space Agency to strengthen its operations. The ESA already operates the Sentinel-5P satellite of the Copernicus program. The program’s objective is to monitor air pollution. Sentinel-5P can see the entire world daily. But Iris can’t see the whole world every day. Iris can see individual facilities releasing the poisonous gas. Images shared by Iris are of higher resolution. This shows an object in more detailing. Using the high-resolution data, the firm claims to detect the specific source of methane emissions. GHGSat said that its combination with the ESA will be fantastic.
GHGSat had in 2016 launched a high-resolution satellite to monitor CO2 and methane emissions. According to the company, it was the world’s first high-resolution satellite. Iris is the second satellite in the series. The company claims that it uses its patented technology for monitoring emissions of gases globally. Methane is a very dangerous gas. It contributes to global warming. Its potential to damage Earth’s environment is 30 times more than that of carbon dioxide. Several countries in recent times have pledged to cut the emission of carbon to check factors responsible for global warming. GHG said that it is testing the next satellite. The satellite will be called Hugo. Hugo is likely to be launched at the end of 2020.