Measuring Methane Emissions

Measuring Methane Emissions

Methane is a primary greenhouse gas, which traps heat in the atmosphere, influencing changes in our global climate. But tracking the exact source of methane emissions, most of which are caused by accidental leakage during fossil-fuel production, is challenging. So how do you find gas that you can neither see nor smell? MethaneSAT, expected to launch in early 2024, will have the ability to locate and measure methane emissions across the globe and will provide data to help to reduce methane emissions, fostering a more sustainable world.

MethaneSAT is designed to locate and precisely measure methane emissions around the world with a precision and at a scale never before achieved, giving decision makers a new ability to track, quantify and reduce these emissions. It will regularly monitor regions with high oil and gas production, as well as emissions from industrial agriculture and other human-made methane sources.

The mission is being developed by MethaneSAT, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Incorporated, a leading international nonprofit organization.


Download to learn more about the high-performance advanced spectrometer instrument Ball Aerospace is building for MethaneSAT.
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Our Role

Our Role

Ball Aerospace was chosen to develop the high-performance advanced spectrometer instrument for the mission. Two extremely sensitive spectrometers sit at the heart of the Ball developed instrument that will measure a narrow part of the shortwave infrared spectrum where methane absorbs light. Ball will also provide flight system integration and test as well as launch and commissioning support.

Ball has more than six decades of experience providing leading-edge systems, delivering instruments that span the electromagnetic spectrum for a wide range of government and commercial applications to help predict the weather, map air quality and monitor the Earth's environment.

MethaneSAT Site

Learn more about the mission on MethaneSAT’s website.

EDF Site

Find out how MethaneSAT differs from other satellites.

Ball Completes MethaneSAT CDR

Learn more about this mission milestone!