We use precision visible-infrared imaging spectrometers on satellites and aircraft to locate, quantify and track methane and CO2 point-source emissions and many other environmental indicators.
The Carbon Mapper constellation will provide daily to weekly sampling of priority regions around the globe, adding a powerful new tier to Planet’s existing fleet of earth imaging satellites.
To pave the way for the Carbon Mapper constellation, our prototype airborne platforms are conducting remote-sensing surveys of methane point sources in key regions across the US. Since 2016 our flights have been illustrating that super-emitter activity occurs in every economic sector. Some of our data has been used by regulators and facility operators to help guide leak repairs.
The inefficient or non-existent flaring of vented gas can have a disproportionate methane impact. We explain what we observe from flares, and why it matters.
A year ago, Carbon Mapper, a new non-profit, launched a pioneering public/private coalition to help improve the understanding of, and accelerate reductions in, global methane and CO2 emissions through a growing system of aircraft and satellite observations. The unique...
See Our Data
The Carbon Mapper program is built upon the ongoing work of our current science and research team. Since 2016, our experts and our collaborators at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and Arizona State University have used aircraft equipped with prototype versions of the Carbon Mapper satellite instruments along with other observing systems and data sets to assess methane emissions in representative regions and economic sectors across the US.
Carbon Mapper has three main objectives:
Help accelerate mitigation of methane super-emitters
Independently verify power plant CO2 emissions globally
Deliver 25+ other hyperspectral indicators for carbon and ecosystem management
To meet these objectives, we will deploy a constellation of satellites and aircraft equipped with high performance visible/infrared imaging spectrometers with the ability to identify, quantify and attribute global methane and CO2 point-source emissions at the scale of individual facilities and equipment.
The methane and CO2 data will be made freely available via Carbon Mapper’s global data portal to ensure maximum transparency. To promote trust and broader adoption, the State of California will maintain its own data portal and will independently review, ground-truth and validate the Carbon Mapper data while advancing new mitigation strategies and working to expand those strategies through its partners in other jurisdictions across the US and globally. Additionally, Carbon Mapper will maximize the use of the data by supporting an ongoing research program and by conducting outreach and stakeholder engagement to ensure policy relevance.
As a society, we have less than 10 years to meet critical milestones in greenhouse gas emission reductions (particularly methane) and improved conservation of ecosystems, biodiversity, and other natural resources. There’s still time to act but meeting these ambitious targets requires an all-hands-on-deck mobilization on many fronts without delay. Carbon Mapper’s goals are to contribute to the growing community of organizations working to offer science-based guidance to decision makers at all levels of society.
Progress and Next Steps
Carbon Mapper is deploying a multi-scale emissions monitoring system from air and space. We’re currently building two demonstration satellites that will launch in early 2023 and plan to expand to a fully operational constellation of many satellites by 2025. The latter will provide daily to weekly sampling of high priority regions globally. We initiated an effort with Teledyne Imaging Systems two years ago to develop the critical focal plane arrays that form the heart of our imaging spectrometer instrument. The first two assemblies were delivered in January 2021 and our first major program design review is scheduled for late summer. Meanwhile, since the climate clock is ticking, we’re working to help accelerate near-term mitigation action through expanded surveys of key regions in North America using our remote-sensing aircraft, supporting efforts by the US Climate Alliance, state agencies, and other partners.