Day 4

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Paper title MANTIS: A nano EO satellite for monitoring oil & gas energy supply chains
Authors
  1. Nick Kellerman Terrabotics Speaker
Form of presentation Poster
Topics
  • B7. NewSpace missions
    • B7.03 New Space missions with small and nanosatellites
Abstract text Mission Agile Nano-Satellite for Terrestrial Image Services (MANTIS) is a nano-satellite designed to monitor and help understand oil & gas energy supply chains. Oil & gas energy supply chains are highly topical because of their criticality to the development of humankind, but also for the impact they have on nature and the Earth’s climate. They are extremely complex owing to their diversity, distribution and scale. Timely and trustworthy information on these supply chains is valuable to a wide range of user segments such as oil & gas operator and service companies, ESG investors, commodity traders, IGOs & NGOs, and regulators. This poster presentation introduces MANTIS and explains how valuable business insights relating to the oil & gas energy supply chain will be derived from its high-resolution optical imagery.

Satellite remote sensing is a well-established methodology for observing natural and anthropogenic terrestrial and atmospheric processes. The USGS-operated Landsat missions have kept a record of land cover change for 50 years while the Meteosats have observed the atmosphere for a similar period. The Landsats and Meteosats were designed with a clear objective in mind and have since been adapted for solving a wide range of opportunistic goals. Like changing land cover and the atmosphere, understanding something as critical and complex as the energy supply chain warrants a target-specific mentality to mission design. The MANTIS satellite will address a perceived gap in the availability of ultra-economic high-resolution and frequency optical imagery from which oil & gas infrastructure can be detected and classified. These data will be used in concert with a wide range of other Earth Observation (EO) data to derive detailed and timely insights on activity relating to oil & gas production. This topic is addressed in more detail under the ESA ARTES IAP Energy SCOUT project.

Initially, MANTIS will focus on the detection and classification of features and events related to onshore unconventional natural gas production from shale deposits. This form of production, more commonly known as ‘fracking’, is controversial owing to its significant surface footprint impacting on biodiversity, potential impact on the water table, and capacity to release methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. Unconventional natural gas has however transformed the United States from a net energy importer to exporter (EIA AEO 2020 report), and with significant economically viable shale gas resources known to exist throughout the world, remains a highly topical subject.

[Image: image.png]Historic and forecast energy production and consumption in the United States. EIA Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) 2020.

The unconventional natural gas sector is extremely fast moving with wells being drilled and bought into production in a matter of weeks. Knowing where development and production are occurring and what stage the process is at is critical to understanding how these natural resources contribute to the energy mix and their impact on the environment. The MANTIS mission has been designed to monitor these processes at a spatial and temporal resolution deemed nominal to gain a deeper understanding of activity.

The MANTIS satellite is targeting a 515km, sun-synchronous orbit with a local time of the ascending node (LTAN) of 22:30. Images for the regions of interest will be acquired in the visible (RGB) and near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths. The payload onboard the Mantis mission (iSIM90-12U) offers the same spectral bands specified by ESA Sentinel-2 EO satellites (in the RGB & NIR).

The ground sampling stance (GSD) of the post-processed images, including degradation due to platform and orbital effects, will be 2.5m in RGB and 3.0m in NIR. The images will be characterised by a signal-to-noise ratio of 55 (for a solar elevation angle of 33.8 degrees) and a modulation transfer function (MTF) in the range 17-22%. The mission is being developed to achieve a geolocation accuracy requirement of no more than 100 metres. The aforementioned mission performance has been defined to enable the extraction of valuable information from the MANTIS imagery by means of Terrabotics’ detection and classification workflow.

The Areas of Interest (AOIs) targeted by the mission have been defined considering the regions of highest activity in the unconventionals-based energy supply chain. Short term variations in market demands are also satisfied by autonomous tasking based on inputs from the end user on new Points of Interest (POIs). End users will be able to submit requests for tasking the satellite by submitting these to Open Cosmos’s Mission Operations Centre. These requests will inform the definition of the image acquisition plan.

While imagery data will be available to purchase, the primary use of MANTIS imagery will be providing high-resolution imagery to the Terrabotics Energy SCOUT service. This high-resolution imagery will provide greater information content to Energy SCOUT end users through allowing the identification and classification of small scale events occurring at oil & gas production sites.