Articles | Volume 17, issue 2
Research article
31 Jan 2024
Research article |  | 31 Jan 2024

Single-blind test of nine methane-sensing satellite systems from three continents

Evan D. Sherwin, Sahar H. El Abbadi, Philippine M. Burdeau, Zhan Zhang, Zhenlin Chen, Jeffrey S. Rutherford, Yuanlei Chen, and Adam R. Brandt

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Cited articles

Bell, C., Rutherford, J., Brandt, A., Sherwin, E., Vaughn, T., and Zimmerle, D.: Single-blind determination of methane detection limits and quantification accuracy using aircraft-based LiDAR, Elementa, 10, 80,, 2022. 
Bell, C., Ilonze, C., Duggan, A., and Zimmerle, D.: Performance of Continuous Emission Monitoring Solutions under a Single-Blind Controlled Testing Protocol, Environ. Sci. Technol., 57, 5794–5805,, 2023. 
Bell, C. S., Vaughn, T. L., Zimmerle, D., Herndon, S. C., Yacovitch, T. I., Heath, G. A., Pétron, G., Edie, R., Field, R. A., Murphy, S. M., Robertson, A. M., and Soltis, J.: Comparison of methane emission estimates from multiple measurement techniques at natural gas production pads, Elementa, 5, 79,, 2017. 
Bell, C. S., Vaughn, T., and Zimmerle, D.: Evaluation of next generation emission measurement technologies under repeatable test protocols, Elementa, 8, 32,, 2020. 
Chen, Y., Sherwin, E. D., Berman, E. S. F., Jones, B. B., Gordon, M. P., Wetherley, E. B., Kort, E. A., and Brandt, A. R.: Quantifying Regional Methane Emissions in the New Mexico Permian Basin with a Comprehensive Aerial Survey, Environ. Sci. Technol., 56, 4317–4323,, 2022. 
Short summary
Countries and companies increasingly rely on a growing fleet of satellites to find large emissions of climate-warming methane, particularly from oil and natural gas systems across the globe. We independently assessed the performance of nine such systems by releasing controlled, undisclosed amounts of methane as satellites passed overhead. The tested systems produced reliable detection and quantification results, including the smallest-ever emission detected from space in such a test.