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ABB sensor detects methane from space

Feb. 12, 2021

ABB reported Jan. 21 that its optical sensor was deployed Jan. 21 as part of the successful launch of Hugo satellite from GHGSat, which provides greenhouse gas sensing services in space. The sensor can reportedly map methane emissions from space at 100 times higher resolution than other sensors, which will provide enough granularity to identify emission sources. ABB is building nine more units to be launched by the end of 2022 as part of the first private satellite constellation dedicated to emissions measurement.

Because space offers the ideal location to freely monitor emissions across jurisdictions and quantitatively report on improvements, ABB reports its sensors will enable governments and industries worldwide to meet their emission reduction targets and reduce climate change.

With its involvement in the Canadian SCISAT mission and the Japanese GOSAT series of satellites, ABB adds it's been at the forefront of greenhouse gas sensing from space for more than 20 years. ABB optical equipment already in space cumulates more than 100 years of reliable operation. The SCISAT sensor tracks long-term subtle composition changes in the earth's atmosphere down to parts per trillion of more than 70 molecules and pollutants since 2003. Weather agencies across the world base their predictions on ABB equipment flying onboard the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather satellites (NPP and JPSS), which saves lives by improving the timeliness and accuracy of weather forecasts for as many as seven days.