UK Space Agency, Methane Emissions Detection

Sparkgeo’s UK team are really excited to be kicking off a UK Space Agency funded project today, developing a Methane Emissions Alerts service using Earth Observation data.

Methane is at least 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, but compared to CO2, it breaks down in the atmosphere around twelve years rather than hundreds. Tackling methane emissions from oil and gas infrastructure, landfill sites, coal mines, and other sources, therefore presents a ‘quick win’ opportunity that could buy us more time in the fight against climate change.

The new online service will allow users such as infrastructure operators, regulators, or environmental advocacy groups to register the locations of assets they would like monitored. It will regularly search for the latest and best satellite imagery available at that location, analysing it for signs of methane emissions and alerting the user to any significant changes.

Sparkgeo CEO Will Cadell comments: 

“Use of EO data and technologies is often constrained by the extent and accessibility of the technical know-how required to transform pixels into valuable products and insights.  The new methane alerts service closes this gap, bringing vital insights directly to users in a critical field without the need for technical expertise. As advanced satellite sensors with improved capabilities become available, the service will continuously enhance its analysis for even more accurate results.  We’re delighted the UK Space Agency is supporting this innovative initiative from our UK team.”

The funding is part of the UK Space Agency programme supporting several space-driven climate service initiatives.  

Minister of State at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology George Freeman MP, comments:  

“The great challenges of our time need bold solutions. By backing UK innovators to make the most of modern technology including satellite data, AI, and Earth observation, we are also supporting businesses up and down our country to grow our economy while driving forward our ambition to make the UK a major player in space.” 

Dr Paul Bate, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, adds: 

“The UK has a long history of expertise and innovation in Earth observation, developing satellites to collect increasingly detailed data and using that information to build services that help protect our planet. This targeted funding for early-stage innovations is all about supporting fresh ideas and accelerating the rollout of powerful new tools that have the potential to bring benefits to a wide range of users both within and beyond the space sector.” 

Read more about this and other UK Space agency funded projects at:

Stay tuned for updates as we embark on this exciting journey to make a positive impact on our world!