Beijing, 29 June 2006: British satellite manufacturer Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has just completed a landmark commercial satellite contract with the Beijing Landview Mapping Information Technology Co., Ltd (BLMIT) in order to commercialise the data services from Earth observation (EO) satellites. At a ceremony held in Beijing, BLMIT signed the formal in-orbit acceptance of the high resolution EO microsatellite (Beijing-1) system built in cooperation with BLMIT.
The 166 kg Beijing-1 is the EO satellite, carrying two payloads that provide high-resolution (4-metre) panchromatic images alongside medium-resolution (32-metre) multi-spectral images with an ultra-wide 600km imaging swath.
Beijing-1 will provide the Chinese government and commercial users with information on agriculture, water resources, environment and disaster monitoring throughout China. The satellite will be used extensively for monitoring urban development and pollution, especially in the lead up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and to generate digital maps of China using the high-resolution panchromatic imager. The satellite is capable of continuously imaging Chinese territory even at the longest landmass track (3000 km) and transmit images to the ground station in Beijing in real-time at high speed (40Mbps) with on-board programmable compression. Image data gathered outside the reach of the groundstation is stored on-board in a hard disc mass storage device for retrieval at night or later on demand.