sfl logo
University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies
Space flight laboratory
Smaller Satellites, Bigger Return

GHGSat-D (CLAIRE) Launches Successfully and First Contact Indicates Good Health

claire launches

Figure 1: Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C34, liftoff at 03:56 UTC 22 June 2016. Credit: ISRO.

TORONTO – 22 June 2016 – GHGSat-D (also known as “CLAIRE”) ascended to space last night at 03:56 UTC on board PSLV-C34 along with 19 other satellites (see Figure 1). Separation from its XPOD Duo dispenser occurred in sequence after other satellites, roughly 19 minutes after liftoff as confirmed by on-board telemetry. The first pass over SFL’s ground station in Toronto was approximately 10.5 hours later and the satellite was found to be generating lots of power and at a comfortable temperature. “We are pleased and excited over the successful launch and first contact with GHGSat-D,” says Robert Zee, Director, SFL, “This is the beginning of what will be an important mission of demonstrating targeted greenhouse gas monitoring so that organizations around the world will have accurate feedback on compliance to environmental requirements. GHGSat Inc. will be providing an important service that contributes to the global fight against climate change.”

claire

Figure 2: GHGSat-D (aka CLAIRE)

GHGSat-D is a 15-kilogram, 20x30x40cm satellite based on SFL’s Next-generation Earth Monitoring and Observation (NEMO) platform (Figure 2). The satellite used SFL’s XPOD Duo dispenser system, one of the largest XPOD dispensers designed and built by SFL for small microsatellites. The main instrument on board GHGSat-D is an advanced miniature hyperspectral SWIR imaging spectrometer provided by MPB Communications Inc. The instrument will measure greenhouse gas emissions at targeted sites such as fugitive sources (tailings ponds and landfills) and stacks (flaring and venting). A secondary instrument will measure clouds and aerosols in order to enhance retrievals from the primary instrument. The satellite is a precursor to a commercial constellation of identical satellites that will form the basis for GHGSat Inc.’s global monitoring service.

“After just one contact with GHGSat-D, SFL is already 25% through its planned commissioning tasks,” says Zee, “We look forward to completing commissioning swiftly. SFL has, over the years, refined its satellite and ground station technology to enable responsive commissioning and short lead-times to operational status. Just as commercial buildings must be constructed on short schedules as every day of being open-for-business counts, so too must our satellites satisfy demanding commercial requirements. Satellites need to be open for business as soon as possible as well.”

The NEMO platform used by GHGSat-D is also the basis of future missions, including the HawkEye360 Pathfinder mission under development by SFL and Deep Space Industries. NORSAT-1, NORSAT-2, and NEMO-AM all harness the performance of this highly capable yet compact platform. The successful launch and contact of GHGSat-D is testimony to the pioneering and impactful advances in small satellite technology at SFL.

About Space Flight Laboratory
SFL builds big performance into smaller, lower cost satellites. Small satellites built by SFL consistently push the performance envelope and disrupt the traditional cost paradigm. Satellites are built with advanced power systems, stringent attitude control and high-volume data capacity that are striking relative to the budget. SFL arranges launches globally and maintains a mission control center accessing ground stations worldwide. The pioneering and barrier breaking work of SFL is a key enabler to tomorrow’s cost aggressive satellite constellations.

LATEST NEWS

CLARA on NorSat-1 Successfully Switched on for the First Time
Aug 25 2017
Norwegian Satellites Launched Successfully and Healthy
Jul 14 2017
GHGSat Unveils Satellite Imagery
May 23 2017
Dubai Space Centre Orders Environmental Monitoring Satellite from SFL
May 16 2017
After Only One Week, CanX-7 Shows Drag Sails are Effective at Deorbiting Satellite
May 11 2017
CanX-7 Successfully Deploys Drag Sails kicking off Deorbiting Demonstration
May 04 2017
GHGSat Announces 1000th Measurement – Two Months Ahead of Schedule
Apr 07 2017
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) Nanosatellite Validates Aircraft Tracking, Prepares for Deorbit Demo
Mar 30 2017
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) to Develop Microsatellites for Greenhouse Gas Monitoring
Mar 24 2017
CanX-7 Aircraft Tracking and Deorbiting Demo Satellite Launched, Contacted, and Healthy
Sep 26 2016
GHGSat-D (CLAIRE) Bus Commissioning Ahead of Schedule
Jun 27 2016
M3MSat Launched and Successfully Contacted
Jun 22 2016
GHGSat-D (CLAIRE) Launches Successfully and First Contact Indicates Good Health
Jun 22 2016
Deep Space Industries and SFL selected to provide satellites for HawkEye 360’s Pathfinder mission
May 26 2016
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) to Provide LEO Bus to SSL
May 10 2016
NORSAT-1 Launch Postponed Due to Faulty Bracket Provided by Arianespace
Apr 14 2016
BRITE-Constellation Sees Stars in a New Light
Feb 05 2016
Deep Space Industries Teams with UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory to Demonstrate Autonomous Spacecraft Maneuvering
Jan 26 2016
exactView-9 Launched Successfully and Contacted
Sep 28 2015
SFL’s Josh Newman Wins 1st Place in Small Satellite Student Competition for CanX-4 and CanX-5 Formation Flying Mission Contribution
Aug 12 2015
NORSAT-2 Contract Awarded to SFL by Norwegian Space Centre
Jul 13 2015
CanX-4&5 Formation Flying Mission Accomplished
Nov 05 2014
CanX-4 & CanX-5 Formation Flying Mission, One Month in Space
Jul 30 2014
Space Flight Laboratory Launches Five Satellites in Two Weeks
Jul 08 2014
AISSat-2 Successfully Launched
Jul 08 2014
Update on BRITE-Toronto and BRITE-Montreal
Jul 03 2014
Indian rocket successfully launches two Canadian satellites
Jun 30 2014
Two low-cost, car battery-sized Canadian space telescopes launched today
Jun 19 2014
UniBRITE and BRITE-Austria Commissioned and Operating Successfully
Feb 25 2014
Canadian Space Agency Awards Propulsion System Development Contract to SFL
Dec 02 2013
BRITE-PL1, WNISat-1, and GOMX-1 Launch Successfully
Nov 21 2013
Norwegian Space Centre Awards AISSat-3 Project to SFL
Jul 08 2013
SFL Wins Contract for First Norwegian Science Satellite – NORSAT-1
Jun 14 2013
UniBRITE Achieves Arcminute-Level Fine Pointing for First of its Kind Space Astronomy Mission
Jun 09 2013
Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Demonstration Satellite Contract Awarded
May 01 2013
Next Generation Automatic Identification System Satellites to be Developed under Communitech Program
Apr 19 2013
World's Smallest Astronomy Satellites In Orbit! (Toronto Star Article)
Feb 25 2013
Austrian BRITE Satellites Launched Successfully and Healthy! (Globe and Mail article)
Feb 25 2013
Microsatellite Science and Technology Centre (MSTC) Opens its Doors to the World
May 25 2012
Canadian Space Agency Awards Micro-mission Cluster Pilots Project to SFL
Mar 28 2012
SPACE-SI Awards NEMO-HD Contract to SFL
Dec 22 2011
Canada adds two satellites to BRITE Constellation
Jan 19 2011
AISSat-1 celebrates six months of success on-orbit, first nanosatellite with high performance pointing
Jan 12 2011
Norway signs AISSat-2 deal
Jan 06 2011
New Microsatellite Science and Technology Center (MSTC) planned for completion in late 2011
Dec 15 2010
CanX-7 Deorbiting Demonstration Mission Awarded Funding
Oct 28 2010
SFL-Built AISSat-1 Reaches Orbit and Confirmed Healthy
Jul 12 2010
CanX-2 Team wins the 2010 CASI Alouette Award
May 04 2010
UTIAS-SFL Trailblazing Small Satellite Technology (Space News)
Apr 20 2009
'Space News' Reports on "Trailblazing Small Satellite Technology" At SFL
Apr 20 2009
View All News Articles
© 2014 University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies Space Flight Lab. All rights reserved.