Satellite monitoringRemote sensing using satellite technology is emerging as a powerful tool for investigating methane emissions of all kinds. Where a large number of flares are operated over wide or inaccessible… can be used to monitor for flares with higher than normal methane emissions. Several technologies are now available, and further systems and services are being launched in the coming years.
The technology can be broadly classed in to two types of activity:
There are advantages and challenges associated with both technologies. Both require additional information – such as visible imagery or thermal data (VIIRS) to differentiate flaring from other potential sources of methane, such as venting.
This entry focuses on directed measurements where the satellite is measuring the spectral signature of methane. It is different to technologies that infer methane emissions from other data sources such as the thermal signature (see VIIRS)
In addition to satellite operators, there are a growing number of service organisations that will process publicly available or privately sourced data and use analytics to give insights to an operator.
Quantifying methane emissions from the global scale down to point sources using satellite observations of atmospheric methane
Daniel J. Jacob et al.
Satellite instruments for observation of methane in the shortwave infraredA wavelength just greater than that of the red end of the visible light spectrum but less than that of microwaves. Infrared radiationhas a wavelength from about 800nm to 1… (SWIR). Area flux mappers are designed to quantify total methane emissions on regional to global scales. Point source imagers are designed to quantify emissions from individual point sources by imaging the atmospheric plumes.
Remote sensing using satellite technology is emerging as a powerful tool for investigating methane emissions of all kinds. Where a large number of flares are operated over wide or inaccessible areas the satellite may be effectively used to highlight locations that require closer inspection. Monitoring technology is either based upon methane itself or the distinct thermal signature of a lit flare.