China to establish satellite-based disaster-monitoring system

China to establish satellite-based disaster-monitoring system

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Beijing, China, 22 August 2006 – China, frequently hit by serious natural disasters, will establish a state-of-the-art satellite-based all-round disaster forecasting network by 2010, a senior official said. Under this, China will launch three small disaster – monitoring satellites in 2007, which is to form an all-around disaster-forecasting network with another five satellites to be sent in 2010.

“Based on the network, China will construct a ground-to-air satellite constellation system for disaster – forecasting and-monitoring in 2010 when another five satellites is to be shot into the air,” Director of the Disaster Relief Department of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, Wang Zhenyao said.

Wang made the announcement at a training session on disaster management jointly sponsored by China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs and the International Civil Defence Organisation here on August 21.

“Since 2001, especially after 2003, China’s disaster – relief system has developed fast, with many technological elements injected,” he said. During the 1990s, a proposal on the building of a satellite constellation system monitoring and forecasting disasters was put forward by the State Environmental Protection Administration of China, the National Commission for Disaster Reduction and the China Aerospace Corporation Organisation.

The satellite constellation system is listed as a key in civilian satellite development in “China Space Development White Paper” published in 2001. In February 2003, the State Council, the Chinese cabinet, approved the satellite constellation project.