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ESA awards Absolut Sensing an agreement to validate the satellite data on a TotalEnergies platform

ESA awards Absolut Sensing an agreement to validate the company’s high-resolution methane emissions satellite data on a TotalEnergies platform.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected satellite operator Absolut Sensing to assess its methane emissions satellite data under the Earthnet Third Party Mission (TPM) programme.

Combatting global warming requires a drastic reduction of man-made methane (CH4) emissions. We must act quickly, as methane’s heat trapping ability is more than 80 times greater than that of carbon dioxide (CO2). Most industrial methane emissions come from low emission rate processes on offshore or difficult to access platforms. To empower regulators and emitters to accurately track methane emissions, we need frequent, accurate and reliable measurements of emissions from industrial sites. A global satellite system with drone-level precision is required.

Absolut Sensing is on a mission to develop the technologies needed to monitor, understand, and predict planetary changes. Our GESat satellite constellation will enable the daily measurement of industrial methane emissions with an unprecedented detection threshold, and enough accuracy to enable regulators to put in place taxation mechanisms and emitters to drastically reduce their methane footprint. A first version of the measurement system will be tested at the TotalEnergies platform of Lacq next year to validate methane data product performance and calibrate the instrument ahead of its maiden flight later that year. Kayrros, a world leader in the processing & analysis of satellite imagery with an established track record in methane detection and one of Absolut Sensing’s key partners in the programme, will then use its advanced algorithms to transform the methane concentration data into emission rates.

Under this agreement, ESA will have access to methane data & emission maps, to assess their quality and validation protocols, with the aim of procuring the satellite constellation data & analytics in the frame of the European Union’s Copernicus programme.

Tristan Laurent, CEO of Absolut Sensing, explains:
“This partnership is a key milestone as European regulators and organizations look for ways to reduce global warming resulting from carbon-emitting industrial activities. We look forward to working hand-in-hand with the European Space Agency in validating our data products to start putting our data at the service of ESA member states end users.”

ESA’s Simonetta Cheli, Director of Earth Observation Programmes, said,
“ESA includes commercialisation as part of its Agenda 2025 priorities and supports actions in the field of earth observation with anchor tenancy schemes, procurement schemes and dedicated support actions via its programmes.”

Catherine Juéry, Head of R&D Air Quality Laboratory at TotalEnergies, commented
“As part of TotalEnergies’ long-standing efforts to identify, quantify and reduce methane emissions, satellites are part of the solution. TotalEnergies builds on TADI (TotalEnergies Anomaly Detection Initiative), recognized as a unique European platform, to assess the performance of leak detection and quantification solutions. The Company already halved its methane emissions at its operated sites from 2010 to 2020 and targets 80% reduction between 2020 to 2030, which is part of its ambition to be net zero by 2050 together with the society”.

PRESS RELEASE-Agreement ESA and Absolut Sensing-ANG

Left to right, Simonetta Cheli, Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Tristan Laurent, CEO of Absolut Sensing and Antoine Rostand, CEO of Kayrros

Absolut Sensing develops the technologies needed to monitor, understand, and ultimately predict planetary changes. We design, integrate, and operate miniaturized hyperspectral cryogenic remote-sensing systems, with the primary mission of deploying the GESat satellite constellation.