Non-profit organisation Carbon Mapper and its partners have revealed plans to launch a hyperspectral satellite constellation to track sources of methane emissions.

The Carbon Mapper consortium includes the State of California, Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Nasa JPL), Planet, the University of Arizona, Arizona State University (ASU), High Tide Foundation and RMI.

The satellite constellation will also track point-source carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions and more than 25 other environmental indicators.

The development of the constellation will be carried out in three phases.

The initial study phase, which involved two years of preliminary engineering development and manufacturing, has already been completed.

Under the next phase, referred to as Phase One, Planet and Nasa JPL are developing the first two satellites. Development in this phase also encompasses data processing platforms and cooperative methane mitigation pilot projects using aircraft.

The pilot projects are already ongoing in California and other states in the US.

Planet will design and build the satellites while Nasa JPL will provide the hyperspectral imaging spectrometer payload for the first satellite.

The two satellites would be launched in 2023.

The last phase of the project, referred to as Phase Two, will focus on expanding to an operational multi-satellite constellation from 2025.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said: “These home-grown satellites are a game-changer. They provide California with a powerful, state-of-the-art tool to help us slash emissions of the super-pollutant methane – within our own borders and around the world. That’s exactly the kind of dynamic, forward-thinking solution we need now to address the existential crisis of climate change.”