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European Space Agency and CNES support Kayrros methane detection technology with €2.4M contract

Kayrros, the leading advanced data analytics company focused on satellite imagery and alternative data for more-timely decision making, announced today that it has received a contract of €2.4 million from the European Space Agency (ESA), an initiative supported by the Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES). Kayrros and ESA began their collaboration in early 2020 on the basis of Kayrros’ use of Sentinel-5P data, after working closely with CNES on the project since 2019. This contract will supplement Kayrros’ own fundraising to invest in the company’s breakthrough Methane Watch technology, bringing the total investment to €5 million.

Methane is the second-largest driver of global warming after carbon dioxide and Kayrros Methane Watch is the first commercially available geospatial technology to detect, measure and attribute methane leaks to their sources worldwide. The technology:

  • Combines data from different ESA Sentinel satellite sensors within the Copernicus constellation.

  • Allows energy stakeholders and industry asset owners to take action on methane emissions using near-real time measurements and rapid processing on the world-leading Kayrros global asset observation platform.

  • Has already revealed dramatic increases in large methane leaks around the world and exposed significantly different regional trends likely due to activity changes, operational practices and infrastructure issues.

The contract provided by ESA is for a targeted collaboration between Kayrros and ESA’s Space Solutions’ Business Applications programme. The collaboration will allow Kayrros to leverage more of the Copernicus satellite constellation, in addition to expanding the existing technical and geographical limits to methane tracking and significantly increasing the number of energy and industrial assets tracked. The new investment will also drive R&D efforts to make more precise measurements with greater granularity and the integration of new types of sensors, such as mobile ground detectors.

Arnaud Runge, ESA Technical Officer for the Methane Watch project, said of the contract, "This project illustrates perfectly ESA's willingness to boost green commercialization, which ESA has defined as one of its top priorities for 2025."

“We’re honoured to receive this support from ESA, which again acts as an endorsement of the important role of methane detection technology in the fight against climate change,” Kayrros CEO Antoine Rostand said. “Kayrros Methane Watch will continue to provide the data that’s essential to ensuring the world can reach the Paris Agreement goals and we would like to thank all the partners who have helped to make this technology possible, notably our research partner CNES, who played an integral role in its development.”

Eliminating methane emissions is the “low-hanging fruit” in achieving the Paris Agreement goals and ESA’s support of this technology will play an integral role in helping ensure that these goals are met.

In addition to the expertise and support of ESA, the scientific foundation of Methane Watch technology is backed by the expertise from Kayrros’ scientific partnerships with the Centre National d’Études Spatiales, Centre Borelli at the Université Paris-Saclay and the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement.