Blue Canyon Technologies to Build Smallsat Bus for MethaneSAT

Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) has been selected by MethaneSAT LLC (“MethaneSAT”) to develop and build the spacecraft bus for this groundbreaking mission.

MethaneSAT is a subsidiary of the non-profit 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.

Artistic rendition of MethaneSAT on-orbit.

Image is courtesy of MethaneSAT™.

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.

Human-generated methane emissions are responsible for more than 25 percent of global warming we currently experience. 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.

Blue Canyon Technologies’ X-SAT.

Blue Canyon’s diverse spacecraft platform has the proven capability to enable a broad range of missions and technological advances for the New Space economy, further reducing the barriers of space entry. BCT 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.

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.

George Stafford, President and CEO of Blue Canyon Technologies, said that reducing methane emissions is critical to slowing the pace of climate change, and the firm is proud that the company’s small satellite technology will help MethaneSAT [and Environmental Defense Fund] with this important mission. Blue Canyon’s technology will make it less expensive and quicker to launch, allowing them to collect more data sooner.”

Dr. Steven Hamburg, MethaneSAT project co-lead, added that 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. Blue Canyon Technologies is a best-in-class bus provider and the organization is in their ability to deliver a spacecraft that meets the demanding performance requirements of this mission.

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