The first radiometric calibration site for China’s remote sensing satellites officially has begun its operations, according to the China Meteorological Administration (CMA).
According to Qin Dahe, CMA chief, the completion of the site, which aims to improve the observation accuracy of these satellites,represents a breakthrough in China’s efforts to improve the remote sensing technique.
The imprecision of the observation data produced by these satellites, resulting from the aging of its remote sensing instruments, has been a constant source of concern for experts at home and abroad.
The use of the radiometric calibration site is generally recognized as the correct solution to the problem, said Fang Zongyi, a CMA researcher. He noted that the data collected by the site’s ground instruments is far more accurate and can therefore be used to calibrate the data observed by on-orbit satellites.
China has the capacity to develop remote-sensing satellites independently, and has already launched a series of satellites for research purposes in the fields of meteorology, land resources, and maritime science. Others have been launched for military surveillance purposes. Once the site is operational, it will calibrate the data produced by each of China’s various on-orbit satellites for one month each year, Fang said.
Sponsored by the National Planning Commission (NPC) and led by CMA, the project was initiated in 1993.