High-res­o­lu­tion satel­lites be­gin op­er­a­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHAO LEI zhaolei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China’s first com­mer­cial high-res­o­lu­tion Earth ob­ser­va­tion satel­lite net­work has be­gun to op­er­ate, its de­vel­oper said.

China Aerospace Science and Tech­nol­ogy Corp, the coun­try’s ma­jor space con­trac­tor, has re­leased sev­eral images taken by Su­perView 1A and 1B, the first two satel­lites of the Su­perView sys­tem.

The images show the Po­tala Palace and a lo­cal con­ven­tion cen­ter in Lhasa, cap­i­tal of the Ti­bet au­tonomous re­gion, as well as the Hong Kong Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­ter .

he Su­perView 1A and 1B were lifted atop a Long March 2D car­rier rocket on Dec 28 from the Taiyuan Satel­lite Launch Cen­ter in Shanxi prov­ince. They en­tered pre­set or­bits on about Tues­day and have sent more than 1,200 ground images back to the con­trol cen­ter, ac­cord­ing to the State-owned CASC.

The two are op­er­at­ing at an al­ti­tude of 500 kilo­me­ters above the Earth, with a panchro­matic res­o­lu­tion of 0.5 me­ters and mul­ti­spec­tral res­o­lu­tion of 2 me­ters, said Zhang Xiaomin, a se­nior re­searcher at the com­pany’s China Acad­emy of Space Tech­nol­ogy, who over­sees the sys­tem’s de­vel­op­ment.

Zhang said that com­pared with for­eign com­mer­cial Earth ob­ser­va­tion satel­lites, Su­perView satel­lites have bet­ter res­o­lu­tion, ac­cu­racy and cov­er­age.

China now op­er­ates the Gaofen net­work that has four satel­lites in ser­vice, but the sys­tem mainly serves gov­ern- ment de­part­ments and the pub­lic sec­tor rather than busi­nesses, said Yang Yike, di­rec­tor of high-res­o­lu­tion satel­lite projects at CASC.

The two iden­ti­cal satel­lites are part of the Su­perView net­work of at least 24 Earth ob­ser­va­tion satel­lites, which CASC ex­pects to be­come one of the world’s largest com­mer­cial providers of space im­agery and geospa­tial data, Yang said. He added that the whole sys­tem will be built by 2022.

Once the net­work is com­pleted, it will con­sist of 16 op­ti­cal satel­lites like the Su­perView 1A and 1B, four op­ti­cal satel­lites that are more ad­vanced, four radar satel­lites and sev­eral min­isatel­lites, ac­cord­ing to Yang.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Po­tala Palace in Lhasa, Ti­bet au­tonomous re­gion, is shown in an im­age re­leased by the Su­perView net­work.

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