CSS-SpaceMon - Carbon Capture and Storage - Integrated Spaceborne Site Monitoring

You are here

CCS SpaceMon aims at the integration of spaceborne Earth observation, navigation and communication to support the monitoring of future CO2 storage sites as part of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology. The monitoring plays an important role and is mandatory during operation but also after abandonment of such sites:

Earth observation (spaceborne radarinterferometry) deals with the derivation of surface movements related to the storage of CO2. Spaceborne navigation (DGPS) complements this with terrestrial determination of surface movements. Spaceborne communication is used to transfer monitoring data from the CO2 storage site to the operator's headquarters.

The general objective of the feasibility study is to design an "Integrated Spaceborne Site Monitoring" service for Carbon Capture and Storage, partially funded by ESA and supported by a suitable end user.

The spaceborne site monitoring concept integrates different techniques from

  • Satellite Earth Observation,
  • Satellite Navigation,
  • Satellite Communication.

Earth observation and satellite navigation both focus on the derivation of surface movements related to the underground storage of CO2 and related pressure increase in the formation. Satellite communication transfers data from different near-surface and underground monitoring techniques to the headquarters of the operator and potentially also to the authorities.

Users and their needs

Target users are operators of future CO2 storage sites. Through the "remote" character of the investigated service related operators can be addressed worldwide.

Operators of CO2 storage sites have basically the need to monitor the operation and the performance of their CO2 storage sites in order to assure safe performance of their sites. A strong monitoring plan is requested by public authorities through specific directives or national laws. The need is therefore to fulfil these legal demands by having also a cost-effective monitoring system in place.

Service/ system concept

The service concept will include different components: Earth observation is foreseen to deal with spaceborne radarinterferometry for the derivation of surface movements related to the pressure increase induced by the underground injection of CO2.

Spaceborne navigation will include terrestrial determination of surface movements using DGNSS supplemented by tiltmeters - again for the monitoring of surface movements related to the injection of CO2 in the underground. Spaceborne navigation will be based on the existing GNSS constellations. DGNSS highly complements surface displacement mapping from space and could be used for the comparison of results and validation. Furthermore, an integrated use of both technologies could be considered as DGNSS information can be used for supporting radarinterferometric processing. The latter needs to be confirmed during the project.

Spaceborne communication will be used to transfer monitoring data from the CO2 storage site acquired through geophysical sensors mounted on the surface or in boreholes to the operator's headquarters using secure, high speed satellite data communications.

Space Added Value

The proposed service concept provides various "space related" benefits: On the one hand the Earth Observation Component provides wider areal information on surface movements related to the operation of the CO2 storage site compared with conventional monitoring techniques. This information can be used to optimize on site terrestrial sensor grids and is thus useful to also reduce monitoring costs. The spaceborne navigation component provides high accuracy information on surface movements at specific locations, which ideally complements the spaceborne determination of surface movements. Spaceborne communication for the wireless transfer of monitoring data between the CO2 storage site and the headquarters has the benefit of avoiding cost intensive installations for terrestrial infrastructure like fibre optical cables. This is especially valid in those cases where CO2 storage sites are far away from existing data networks, e.g. also mobile phone networks. Also, this has a strong value in areas, where hardware installations for data transfers are subject to manipulation or even destruction.

Product Benefits

The proposed service concept provides various benefits: The Earth Observation Component provides wider areal information on surface movements related to the operation of the CO2 storage site compared with conventional monitoring techniques. This information can be used to optimize on-site terrestrial sensor grids and is thus useful to also reduce monitoring costs. The spaceborne navigation component provides high accuracy, real-time information on surface movements at specific locations, which ideally complements the spaceborne determination of surface movements. Spaceborne communication for the wireless transfer of monitoring data between the CO2 storage site and the headquarters has the benefit of avoiding cost intensive installations for terrestrial infrastructure like fibre optical cables. This is especially valid in those cases where CO2 storage sites are far away from existing data networks, e.g. also mobile phone networks. Also, this has a strong value in areas, where hardware installations for data transfers are subject to manipulation or even destruction.

Product Features

Different monitoring data will be collected on site in the CO2 storage area: On the one hand conventional geophysical data permanently acquired from different underground well bore sensors. On the other hand - as part of the proposed service - DGNSS surveying data on the field. Data will be transferred through the proposed satellite communication link to the client's storage facilities into a raw data base. This data base could be accessed by several service providers (e.g. Axio-Net) for post-processing, further value adding or interpretation (geomechanical modelling). Final products derived by the service providers will be transferred to the clients final monitoring database. In addition, also campaign wise collected data (e.g. seismics) will be processed through service providers and integrated into the client's final monitoring database.

Collected data about the surface displacement information stored in the final monitoring database can be used into approaches for the inversion of geomechanical data to obtain improved geomechanical models and thus, to provide a better understanding of the underground geology. This final monitoring database will be accessed with permission of the client for monitoring the status of the CO2 storage site and further decision making. Links to deciding authorities could be established.

Parallel to terrestrial monitoring components the remote sensing component will be installed: Data will be ordered, programmed and acquired by the relevant sensor. Data will be transferred to the service provider, who generates surface movement maps from a data stack acquired from the CO2 storage site. The results will be transferred via FTP to the client's monitoring database for further comparison.

Key Issues

The project investigates the potential of an integration of spaceborne assets, which support the monitoring of future CO2 storage sites. In this context spaceborne radarinterferometry, DGNSS monitoring and satellite communication will be used to generate a joint offer for the operators of CO2 storage sites.

Current Status

The project team has finished the work on all study tasks (user requirements definition, state-of-the-art analysis and system specification, proof of concept, viability analysis and finally  implementation roadmap and recommendations). All deliverables have been accepted by ESA.

In view of the current unfavourable economic and political conditions for CCS in Europe, a detailed plan has been elaborated within the implementation roadmao task for a careful monitoring of the market conditions, aiming at starting a demonstration project when the regulatory / economic environment are appropriate.. In this context, further evaluation meetings are scheduled in the near future to understand the situation and react accordingly.

Project Managers

Contractor Project Manager

Dr. Lutz Petrat
Astrium Services
88039 Friedrichshafen
Germany

ESA Project Manager

Norbert Hübner
Keplerlaan 1
2201 AZ Noordwijk
Netherlands

Status Date

Updated: 21 March 2012 - Created: 15 February 2014