Maxar Technologies Ltd (NYSE:MAXR) has had a very challenging year for its common stock. Today, the stock is down substantially compared to the same time last year. However, investors are pegging their hopes on a contract that SSL, a subsidiary, recently landed. Notably, SSL will develop a protocol that will define how satellites monitor and measure the emission of methane across the globe.
Methane gas is sharply rising in the atmosphere
Methane has been rising sharply since 1984. Further estimates show that 2017 experienced the steepest rise yet. Although methane is far much less in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, scientists estimate that it is powerful. Interestingly, methane and carbon dioxide are gasses greenhouse gasses which affect global temperatures. Therefore, there is a need to control their quantity in the atmosphere.
Interestingly, there are reports that the current methods of measurement could be underestimating methane quantity. Notably, the reports observe that there very vast amounts of methane arising from landfills that collect garbage from cities. Given that cities are mushrooming all across the globe, and that they are rapidly filling up with people, landfills are increasing. This is a further concern that calls for accurate measurement to make clear sense of methane present in the atmosphere.
Better measurement capabilities
In this light, SSL is developing a satellite that will give a clearer and real-time picture of methane emission. Dubbed, MethaneSAT, this gadget will monitor and measure emissions from gas and oil fields. Notably, the measurements will inform decisions and actions by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). In particular, SSL will design the satellite for EDF’s approval. The EDF anticipates awarding development contract later this year on receipt of the design from SSL. Interestingly, the satellite will specifically focus on the gas and oil fields since they account for the majority of the emissions.
Nonetheless, investors are jittery whether the developments will salvage the tanking share price. Early last week, the stock plummeted after Maxar reported a failed imagery satellite, WorldView-4 digital. Interestingly, the potentially permanent failure implies that the company will not be able to generate revenue from the gadget. This is because the satellite can no longer provide the high-resolution images Maxar can commercialize.