The Art of Deception

• General

The Art of Deception

Why spatial resolution is critical.

  • Problem: You need actionable information.
  • Solution: Use high-resolution data to derive actionable alerts.
  • Benefits: Early alerts on problems, less risk, mitigated damages, increased safety.

Several companies today tout capabilities in remote measurement of methane emissions. All claim “high resolution,” but not all resolutions are created equal. What IS high resolution? It can get confusing. Let’s simplify it by directly comparing results.

Satelytics believes that “high-resolution” means pixels small enough to permit:

  • Location of the source of a methane leak,
  • Calculation of flow rate at the methane leak source, and
  • Accurate measurement of methane concentrations within the plume — every pixel is a point sample measurement.

To analyze methane emissions, Satelytics tasks Maxar’s WorldView-3 satellite, which has a shortwave infrared (SWIR) instrument with 3.7-m by 3.7-m spatial resolution. Compare that against other satellites offering 25-m resolution, 50-m resolution, 100-m resolution, 130-m resolution, or even 5,500-m resolution!

Satelytics chooses to use only the highest resolution imagery available because we know that our customers want and need to know not only THAT there are methane emissions, but FROM WHERE? and HOW MUCH?. Only the smaller pixel sizes can facilitate those analyses.

A picture, they say, is worth a thousand words. Take a look at the results shown below. The image on the right is an actual screen capture of results from a project we completed recently for a major oil company. The other two images are simulated results representing the plume map that would have been achieved using coarser SWIR imagery. In these images, it is readily apparent that high-resolution images allow you, the customer, to spot the location of the problem and make meaningful measurements of the magnitude of the problem (concentration, flow rate, location, plume drift).

Coarse-resolution results vs. high-resolution results.

Coarse-resolution results vs. high-resolution results.

Of course, the higher resolution data comes with a cost, but Satelytics’ customers understand it is better to pay $10 for an answer that helps them solve a problem in its infancy than to pay $1 for a partial answer that does not lead to actionable information. The former is a good investment. The latter is money thrown away.

Looking beyond methane, Satelytics sticks to its habit of high resolution. Whether for liquid pipeline leak detection, encroachment analysis, or land movement, the same mantra holds. For these functions, Satelytics tasks satellites with near-infrared sensors that provide 30-cm to 46-cm resolution. That’s the size of a dinner plate! Why spend money on obtaining information that doesn’t lead to action?

High-resolution imagery is used by all Satelytics algorithms.

High-resolution imagery is used by all Satelytics algorithms.

Satelytics is the premium geospatial analytics provider for the energy industry. As a premium provider, you can expect from us results that reduce your risk, improve your safe operations, improve your reporting accuracy, and reduce your insurance premiums.

As the old adage states, “You get what you pay for.”

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