China: China”s first high-resolution, remote-sensing satellite for civilian use, Ziyuan III, is now operational. Launched on January 9, 2012, the satellite was delivered to its primary subscriber, the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation.
“The satellite shows that China”s remote-sensing satellite technology has reached advanced levels,” said Hu Yafeng, deputy head of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.
Unlike the Ziyuan I and II satellites, which produce only two-dimensional images, the new satellite can produce three-dimensional imagery. “The images” resolution is 2.1 meters, better than the previous resolution of 3 meters,” Cao Hailing, Ziyuan III’s designer with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.
The orbiter also has a multispectral camera that helps look for mineral resources, which can produce imagery with a resolution of 6 meters, she added.
The satellite can transmit data at a speed four to five times of previous satellites. And for the first time, a low-earth-orbit remote sensing satellite”s lifespan is now five years, up from three years, according to a news release provided by the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.
Officials said this satellite will eliminate the country”s surveying and mapping industries” dependence on foreign satellites for high-resolution images.
Experts said the new satellite can compete with its foreign counterparts, which currently dominate the country”s high-resolution remote sensing and mapping market.
During its trial operation, the Ziyuan III satellite collected visual data of 450,000 square kilometers in the South China Sea, including Huangyan Island, over which the Philippines also claims sovereignty, said Feng Xianguang, director of Satellite Surveying and Mapping Application Center under the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation.
The satellite will also aid the country”s natural-disaster prevention, agriculture development, water-resource management and urban planning, the administration said.
Source: China Daily