Daytona Beach, FL – In a first step to fight against greenhouse gases, Censys Technologies, a trailblazer in the commercial beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry, has signed a limited field exclusive license with The Aerospace Corporation (Aerospace) for its retro-reflector spectroscopy system. Aerospace’s technology implemented in Censys’ RetraSpectraTM system will enable long-range intelligence gathering in high resolution for 3D mapping of methane, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
Aerospace is a national nonprofit that operates a federally-funded research and development center, providing technical expertise and objective analysis to help solve the hardest problems facing the nation’s space programs. Known for developing innovative technologies, the Aerospace’s patented retro-reflector spectroscopy system is a UAV-based laser and electro-optics system. By working together with a leader in U.S.-made BVLOS airborne intelligence, Aerospace’s valuable technology can be leveraged to measure the concentration of gases and address the greenhouse gas challenge in the atmosphere.
“This licensing opportunity allows us to leverage this intellectual property helping industries across the country detect these harmful gases more efficiently,” said Noel Heiks, Vice President of Sensing & Data at Censys Technologies. “The RetraSpectra system exemplifies how we can enrich and improve lives through technology. As the leading U.S. manufacturer of intelligent long-range drone solutions, we are constantly looking for ways to create technology or make use of what’s already out there. Aerospace’s retro-reflector technology produced a perfect foundation for detecting these gases, and this licensing agreement is just one example of how we leverage technologies to create results.”
Current airborne payloads use a laser beam aimed in a downward direction at target locations with reflection from any topological surface to detect methane and other emissions. The resultant detected signal on board the aircraft is noisy from scattering upon reflection from surrounding surfaces, such as ground, pipes, grass, etc. Instead, by employing a retro-reflector optimized for the detection system – and one that can be situated in any location or on a mobile platform – the signal quality can be enhanced and allow for dynamic scanning across any region of interest above targets. Typically, these inspections are conducted over pipelines or orphaned wells, seeking out the many hidden sources of methane leaks that are impacting our climate.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than eight million metric tons of methane are emitted each year. Censys’ RetraSpectra system identifies and maps greenhouse gases to rapidly locate methane sources and other fugitive emissions so that actively leaking wells or pipeline equipment can be triaged and fixed. The novel system can also map carbon dioxide emissions and sinks, which is especially important for industries like agriculture and forestry as they determine which vegetation can be beneficial for the environment.
“We are excited to see our technology licensed by a leading U.S. manufacturer of UAVs,” said Jim Myers, Senior Vice President of The Aerospace Corporation. “We are committed to collaborating with U.S. small businesses to advance U.S. space capabilities in the national interest.”