With an eye on improving its earthquake monitoring network, China will launch its first test satellite for detecting electromagnetic anomalies from space in 2016. According to reports, the polar-orbiting device will carry eight payloads, including a search-oil magnetometer, electric field detector, energetic particle sensors designed by China and Italy, and a Langmiur probe and plasma analyser. The satellite will collect and transmit data on electromagnetic signals in the Earth”s ionosphere at altitudes of 507 km.
During its mission life of five years, the satellite will collect and supply data for research on earthquake monitoring, earth science and space science. China”s latest project started in 2003 and its test satellite is now in the preliminary design stage. With the successful launch of the satellite, China will join a select group of nations that have their own earthquake monitoring satellites, which could broaden international collaboration in the field.
China”s satellite mission could become the focal point for future international cooperation among many scientists in space physics, electromagnetic observation and satellite methodologies for earthquake monitoring and warnings, the professor said.