Science & Tech

MethaneSAT is revolutionising methane emission tracking

  • MethaneSAT, the latest addition to the space technology arsenal, has the potential to revolutionise worldwide methane emission tracking and measurement.
  • This revolutionary satellite, launched on a SpaceX Falcon9 rocket, is expected to deliver unprecedented insights into methane emissions, contributing in the fight against climate change. 

Unraveling MethaneSAT

  • The Environmental Defence Fund (EDF) launched MethaneSAT in partnership with Harvard University, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and the New Zealand Space Agency.
  • MethaneSAT, which uses a high-resolution infrared sensor and a spectrometer, can detect methane concentrations as low as three parts per billion.
  • MethaneSAT’s wide-camera view of around 200 km by 200 km allows it to identify both small and big emitters, filling vital data gaps.

Key Features:

  • Data Accessibility: MethaneSAT will make its data available for free in near real-time, allowing stakeholders and regulators to take timely action to reduce methane emissions.
  • Cloud Computing and AI: The large volume of data acquired by MethaneSAT will be analysed using Google’s cloud computing and artificial intelligence technology, ensuring efficient processing and interpretation. 

Significance of Methane Emission Monitoring

  • Methane emissions are a significant contributor to global warming, second only to carbon dioxide, highlighting the importance of monitoring them.
  • Health concerns: Methane emissions contribute to the production of ground-level ozone, which poses major health concerns and causes premature death.
  • Fossil Fuel Operations: The majority of human-caused methane emissions come from fossil fuel operations, making it critical to monitor and minimise them.


  • Global Impact: The debut of MethaneSAT coincides with the growing global demand for stringent methane management rules.
  • Transparency: MethaneSAT’s publicly available data will hold governments and corporations accountable for their efforts to reduce methane emissions.
  • Behavioural Change Challenges: While MethaneSAT data can raise awareness, behavioural improvements among polluters are not assured, emphasising the necessity for further regulatory measures. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

And get notified everytime we publish a new blog post.