GHGSat company is getting $28 million from the Government of Quebec through Investissement Quebec, and others. The ambitious, two-phase project will create 10 satellites and three airborne sensors, built through the creation of 173 new jobs.
The company specializes in satellite and airborne detection. These detect human-produced greenhouse gasses and other gases, like methane.
This is the first phase of the investment, worth $14 million. The government’s cash will fund the launch of two new Earth observation satellites, the design of an airborne sensor and the implementation of an ambitious analytical development program.
The GHGSat satellite, nicknamed Iris, will launch in French Guiana. Iris will be able to track methane released from oil and gas wells, coal mines, power plants, farms and factories around the globe. The company also plans to launch its Hugo satellite a few months later, with the aim of improving coverage provided by Iris.
Iris is equipped with an enhanced spectrometer that will be able to quantify emissions by site, company and across supply chains, noted the Financial Post.
Moreover, methane is more than 80 times more potent a global warming agent in the first 20 years than carbon dioxide.
The company launched its first satellite in 2016. GHGSat-D, nicknamed Claire, was launched on June 21, 2016. The satellite circles the Earth about 15 times.
Last year, Quebec Premier François Legault met with GHGSat at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
“Innovation is a fundamental aspect of Quebec’s economic recovery,” said Legault. “It will have to rely on avant-garde projects to stimulate investment and exports”
“The GHGSat project also allows for the participation of Québec suppliers, who will be able to develop their expertise in terms of new satellite platforms,” added Legault.
The global GHGSat project will develop and launch 10 satellites in total, the establishment of a fleet of three airborne sensors, and a suite of software artificial intelligence data analysis.
It will also create 173 jobs, including 52 for the completion of the first phase.