Out-of-this-world way to monitor greenhouse gas emissions

A Vancouver company has secured funding to use satellites to monitor greenhouse gas emissions from space.

Francis Doumet, co-founder of Metaspectral, says through technology the company is able to track and measure carbon emissions at the Earth’s surface using satellites in low-Earth orbit.

“We’re basically developing the next generation of computer vision that taps into the invisible spectrum of light. And because of that, we’re able to detect visible characteristics and identify materials that other people can’t,” Doumet said.

He says monitoring greenhouse gas levels on the Earth’s surface in real time has multiple uses, including for environmental monitoring, like measuring emissions from oil and gas pipelines.

“That’s going to allow several companies to reap the economic benefits of carbon credits, since we’re really able to help farmers and the agricultural industry at large to fully understand how much carbon is being captured by their field,” he explained.

He adds using satellites to monitor emissions can also help the agricultural industry understand how much carbon is being captured in a farmer’s field. It can also help detect oil spills in the ocean in real time through hyperspectral imagery.

“Our technology is already being used in an array of industries, including aerospace, defense, agriculture, and manufacturing. So there really is, though, no limit to the applicability in terms of industries,” Doumet said.

Next, the company will be putting its focus on defense systems, such as monitoring the Arctic or monitoring international treaty compliance.

“We have several irons in the fire, including in defense, especially related to the Arctic and monitoring the Arctic, for a variety threats and information important to our forces,” he explained.

“We also are applying the technology to help the quality of sorting waste plastic. We’re increasing the capability of sorting, which then increases the quality of the recycled material and that then contributes to a bigger and larger circular economy.”

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