Landsat network completed

By Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/1 20:48:39

Satellites to enable China to receive nationwide data


China's Landsat satellite imagery reception network has been completed Wednesday, enabling the country to receive satellite data for the entire country and up to 70 percent of the area in Asia.

Landsat satellites relay images to ground stations located in Beijing's suburban Miyun district, Kashgar in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and Sanya in South China's Hainan Province, from where these images are sent to the project's Beijing headquarters, the People's Daily reported Thursday, adding that the project has passed its final review on Wednesday.

It will be used to support various remote-sensing systems, especially for the western part of the country and the South China Sea, according to the review committee, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

"Establishing more ground stations can help receive real-time information and high-resolution images," Jiao Weixin, a space science professor at Peking University, told the Global Times Thursday, noting that China used to have one ground station in Miyun, and it could only cover 80 percent of the country.

Jiao denied any special motive behind building ground stations in Xinjiang and the South China Sea, saying that the locations of the stations are merely based on "geographical considerations."

Satellite imagery in western China and the South China Sea has long been missing, and the building of these stations will fill the gap, said Jiao.

According to the People's Daily, the Landsat project was launched in 2007 by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The network will be able to detect natural resources all around the country, such as coal and petroleum, as well as calculating the country's forest coverage rate and desertification, China Central Television (CCTV) reported.

It will also provide data and information to assist the government's decision-making when natural disasters strike, said CCTV.

China will build more satellite ground stations in the near future, and "may also build stations in countries we have good relationship with," said Jiao.

Xiao Jing, a researcher from high technology division under the NDRC, said that China's geo-spatial information has entered a new level after the completion of the network, People's Daily reported on Thursday. 

According to a report on China's space activities published by the State Council Information Office in 2016, China has provided satellite data support and technical services for major international disaster-relief efforts through various UN cooperation platforms.

China also plans to form a BeiDou network consisting of 35 satellites for global navigation services by 2020, said a white paper released by the State Council Information Office in 2016.

The white paper said that China plans to start providing basic services to countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road in 2018.



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