Montreal company GHGSat Inc. is launching a 15 kilogram greenhouse gas monitoring satellite, called CLAIRE, into orbit, and has also launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund demonstration projects that the satellite can conduct in space.
After having completed testing last week, which involved thermal vacuum tests to simulate temperature variations typical of low Earth orbit, as well as vibration tests to ensure that the satellite and its on-board equipment can survive launch, CLAIRE is getting ready to head into orbit.
CLAIRE is already fully booked to launch into space as part of a piggyback payload from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre in April 2016.
The Kickstarter campaign, with 14 days left to go, hopes to raise $100,000, which would pay for one demonstration, with each additional $50,000 paying for another demonstration.
In the event that the campaign raises $1 million or more, GHGSat can put the funding towards CLAIRE’s sister project, the company’s first commercial satellite, perhaps eventually leading to an array of similar satellites.
While national leaders make pledges involving carbon and greenhouse gas reduction at the COP21 summit in Paris, there arises a need to accurately and independently monitor emissions to ensure that those pledges are reflective of reality.
CLAIRE can help monitor industrial site operations at a very low cost, compared to current technology.
GHGSat, a subsidiary of Xiphos Systems Corporation, designed and built their satellite at the Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) over a two-year perdiod in collaboration with MPB Communications Inc., with further assistance from Boeing, who provided systems engineering and space vehicle design advice.
GHGSat is already being supported by Sustainable Development Technology Canada, LOOK North, as well as Boeing, Suncor, Hydro-Quebec, Imperial Oil, Shell, Canada National Resources Limited, and others.
Aside from the Kickstarter campaign, GHGSat has been selected to compete in the production category for the 9th annual GreenTec Awards.
Online voting for companies nominated in the GreenTec awards opens on December 8. The awards will be presented on March 29, 2016 in Munich.