Space Flight Laboratory (SFL), a provider of complete microspace missions based at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS), has been contracted by GHGSat Inc. of Montreal to develop the GHGSat-C1 and C2 greenhouse gas monitoring satellites. SFL will release details of the operational GHGSat microsatellite mission next week at the Satellite 2017 Conference in Washington, D.C.
“SFL is a world-class bus manufacturer with nearly two decades of experience developing and launching small satellites,” said Stephane Germain, President and CEO of GHGSat Inc. “Working with SFL was a natural fit because we share a common microspace philosophy and culture important to us as we get our satellites launched efficiently and quickly.”
Established in 1998, SFL specializes in implementing high-performance nano-, micro- and small-satellite missions at low cost on tight schedules. SFL served as prime integration contractor for the successful GHGSat-D demonstration satellite, known as CLAIRE, launched in June 2016. CLAIRE is a 15-kilogram, 20x30x40cm microsat based on SFL’s space-proven Next-generation Earth Monitoring and Observation (NEMO) platform.
“GHGSat-D demonstrated that greenhouse gas emissions from point sources, such as power plants and industrial sites, can be accurately targeted and measured from space,” said Dr. Robert E. Zee, SFL Director. “The precise attitude control and target tracking capability of our NEMO bus – rare among satellite platforms of this size – played a key role in the accurate pointing of the primary CLAIRE sensor.”
SFL has begun development of the GHGSat-C1 and C2 satellites at its Toronto facility with planned launches in late 2018 and early 2019, respectively. Serving as GHGSat’s first two commercially operating satellites, they will be identical to each other but contain incremental, yet significant, enhancements from the demonstration mission.
SFL’s NEMO platform has been used on several other missions, including the NORSAT-1 and NORSAT-2 built for Norway by SFL for science, advanced ship tracking, and ship communication. The NEMO bus is also utilized in the upcoming HawkEye360 Pathfinder missions under development by SFL and Deep Space Industries of California.