Satel­lites’ im­ages will open up mar­ket

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By ZHAO LEI zhaolei@chi­

China launched two com­mer­cial re­mote-sens­ing satel­lites on Wed­nes­day in an at­tempt to break for­eign com­pa­nies’ dom­i­nance in high­res­o­lu­tion ground im­ages.

The Su­perView 1A and 1B were lifted atop a Long March 2D car­rier rocket at 11:23 am from the Taiyuan Satel­lite Launch Cen­ter in Shanxi prov­ince, ac­cord­ing to China Aero­space Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Corp, de­vel­oper of the satel­lite se­ries.

The two iden­ti­cal satel­lites will be part of the Su­perView net­work of at least 24 Earth ob­ser­va­tion satel­lites, which the State-owned CASC ex­pects to be­come one of the world’s largest com­mer­cial providers of space im­agery and geospa­tial data, said Yang Yike, di­rec­tor of high­res­o­lu­tion satel­lite projects at the com­pany.

Af­ter the Su­perView 1A and 1B are placed in their po­si­tions 500 km above Earth, they will start to take pic­tures of Earth with ground im­age res­o­lu­tion of 0.5 me­ter — the clear­est yet pro­duced by Chi­nese com­mer­cial satel­lites, he said.

China now op­er­ates the Gaofen net­work that has four satel­lites in ser­vice, but the sys­tem mainly serves govern­ment de­part­ments and the public sec­tor rather than busi­nesses, Yang said.

“We want to build a com­mer­cial net­work that will con­sist of 16 op­ti­cal satel­lites like the Su­perView 1A and 1B, four op­ti­cal satel­lites that are more ad­vanced, four radar satel­lites as well as sev­eral mini-satel­lites,” he said. “We will ar­range one to two launches for the net­work each year from 2017 to 2022. The whole sys­tem will be built by 2022.”

Xu Lip­ing, gen­eral man­ager of Bei­jing Space View

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