Global satel­lite net­work planned to boost in­ter­net

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By ZHAO LEI in Wuhan zhaolei@chi­

China Aero­space Science and In­dus­try Corp, the na­tion’s largest mis­sile de­vel­oper, plans to build a space-based in­for­ma­tion net­work that will pro­vide global cov­er­age.

Liu Shi­quan, deputy gen­eral man­ager of the Sta­te­owned space and de­fense gi­ant, said on Mon­day the com­pany will put 156 com­mu­ni­ca­tions satel­lites into low Earth or­bit, at an al­ti­tude of 160 to 2,000 km. Each satel­lite of the net­work will be able to trans­mit 500 megabytes of data per sec­ond.

“We will launch a satel­lite this year to demon­strate the tech­nolo­gies for the Hongyun Project. Be­fore 2019, four satel­lites will have been put into space to con­duct trial op­er­a­tions. The rest will fol­low in 2019 and 2020, en­sur­ing that the whole net­work will be built be­fore 2021,” he said at the Sec­ond China Com­mer­cial Aero­space Fo­rum in Wuhan, Hubei province.

“When the Hongyun sys­tem be­comes op­er­a­tional, users around the world will be able to con­nect with broad­band in­ter­net any­time and any­where, even from on­board an air­craft or a ship or in a re­mote area,” Liu said.

Yang Yuguang, sec­re­tary of the In­ter­na­tional Astro­nau­ti­cal Fed­er­a­tion’s Space Trans­porta­tion Com­mit­tee, said that most of the world’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions satel­lites to­day op­er­ate in the geosyn­chronous or­bit at about 36,000 km above Earth.

“The prospect that the Hongyun satel­lites will op­er­ate in low Earth or­bit will give them a lower prob­a­bil­ity of data trans­mis­sion de­lays,” he said. “That will strongly fa­cil­i­tate users’ ac­cess to the in­ter­net around the globe.”

Zhang Di, deputy head of the Fourth Academy of China Aero­space Science and In­dus­try Corp, said Chi­nese in­ter­net giants such as Baidu Inc and Alibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd, as well as State-owned tele­com com­pa­nies like China Tele­com, have con­tacted his com­pany to ex­plore co­op­er­a­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties.

In ad­di­tion to the Hongyun sys­tem, Liu said, China Aero­space Science and In­dus­try Corp has be­gun de­vel­op­ing a re­us­able com­bined-pow­ered space­craft for com­mer­cial space ac­tiv­i­ties that it is ex­pected to be put to ser­vice af­ter 2030.

He dis­closed that his com­pany is also re­search­ing a large elec­tro­mag­netic ac­cel­er­a­tion sys­tem ca­pa­ble of lift­ing fu­tur­is­tic elec­tri­cally pro­pelled rock­ets or tra­di­tional liq­uid-fu­eled rock­ets.

Yang said the elec­tro­mag­netic launch sys­tem will help save fuel and boost thrust.

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