Vanguard was one of three new emissions monitoring satellites launched from California. [Image credit: GHGSat]

By Dale Lunan

Montreal’s GHGSat said November 15 it had launched the world’s first commercial CO2 sensor as part of a three-satellite package launched on the weekend from the Vandenburg Space Force Base in California.

GHGSat’s CO2-sensing satellite (C10, known as Vanguard) was accompanied by a pair of new methane sensing satellites, Juba (C9) and Elliot (C11). The satellites were carried into orbit by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 as part of the Transport-9 mission.

Vanguard is the first orbital sensor able to pinpoint CO2 emissions from individual industrial sites such as cement or power plants using high spatial resolution technology not available on public CO2 satellites already in orbit. 

At the national and international level, the high-resolution CO2 data provided by Vanguard will enhance the accuracy of emissions inventories and aid the IPCC’s Global Stocktake and scientific modelling of emissions. It will also help build confidence in the C$1 trillion global carbon trading market.

“Our high-resolution satellites helped put methane – a greenhouse gas that was out of sight and out of mind – at the top of the climate agenda,” GHGSat CEO Stephane Germaine said. “Now our goal is to harness this experience and change the conversation around CO2.”