Blue Canyon Technologies to provide spacecraft bus for MethaneSAT program

Tuesday January 7, 2020 0 comments Tags: Boulder, Blue Canyon Technologies, MethaneSAT, George Stafford, Steven Hamburg

BOULDER -- Small satellite manufacturer and mission services provider Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) announced it has been selected by MethaneSAT LLC to develop and build the spacecraft bus for the groundbreaking mission.Blue_Canyon_logoUSE 

MethaneSAT is a subsidiary of the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The donor-funded mission, which is scheduled to launch in 2022, will provide global, high-resolution detection and quantification of methane emissions from oil and gas facilities, as well as measure emissions from other human-generated methane sources.

This comprehensive data will be made available to the public, and provide companies, governments and other stakeholders with a new way to track, quantify and take actionable steps to reduce methane emissions.

“Reducing methane emissions is critical to slowing the pace of climate change, and we’re proud that our small-satellite technology will help MethaneSAT and the Environmental Defense Fund with this important mission,” said George Stafford, BCT president and CEO.

“Our technology will make it less expensive and quicker to launch, allowing them to collect more data sooner.”

The satellite will be designed using BCT’s newest X-SAT line of spacecraft, specifically the X-SAT Saturn-Class which can carry payloads up to 200 kg. As with other BCT X-SAT buses, the X-SAT Saturn-Class is a high-agility platform, enabling the onboard instrument to collect data and revisit sites frequently.

The X-SAT Saturn-Class’s compact profile is designed to maximize the volume, mass and power available for the methane measuring instrument.

“MethaneSAT has a unique and demanding mission involving some of the most seasoned, innovative organizations and individuals from both the commercial and public aerospace sectors,” said Dr. Steven Hamburg, MethaneSAT project co-lead.

“Blue Canyon Technologies is a best-in-class bus provider and we are confident in their ability to deliver a spacecraft that meets the demanding performance requirements of this mission.”

Human-generated methane emissions are responsible for more than 25 percent of global warming. EDF calculates that reducing global oil and gas methane emissions 45 percent by 2025 would deliver the same near-term benefit to the climate as closing 1,300 coal-fired power plants.

BCT said it is currently building more than 60 spacecraft for government, commercial and academic missions. The company has doubled in size over the past 12 months and plans to open its new 80,000-square-foot headquarters and production facility in 2020.