China forms first satellite network for civil maritime affairs with latest successful launch

By Deng Xiaoci Published: 2020/6/11 2:57:12

Video: Zheng Xiaohu, Feng Yang and Wang Ye

China successfully sent a newly developed maritime environment monitoring satellite into orbit at 2:31 am on Thursday, forming the country's first satellite network for civil maritime affairs, which the developer said would bring the country to forefront of the world in terms of marine remote sensing capability, and also a step forward toward being a space power.

The satellite, codenamed HY-1D, was developed by the DFH Satellite Co Limited under the China Academy of Space Technology affiliated with the state-owned space giant China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), and is designed to work with the HY-1C which was launched on September 7, 2018, to form the country's first satellite network for civil maritime affairs.

The two satellites will obtain global water temperature data twice a day with a spatial resolution of 1.1 km, which will significantly enhance the country's strength in conducting effective observations of ocean color, coastal resources and ecological environment.

According to the developer, the designed service life for the satellite is five years. It will carry five payloads onboard including an oceanic water temperature scanner, a coastal zone imager and an automatic vessel identification system.

The imager can obtain coastal water environment, coastal zone and ecological environment of rivers and lakes with a spatial resolution of 50 meters, every three days.

The network will be mainly used to obtain dynamic ocean environment data, such as sea surface temperatures, and monitor environmental changes in China's coastal waters and coastal zones in key global regions as well as marine vessel information, Global Times has learned from the space authority.

It will also provide services including oceanic environment monitoring and forecasts, maritime disaster early warning, maritime rights protection and law enforcement, and scientific research. 

The HY-1 satellite family has four members so far, with the first HY-1A satellite launched on May 15 in 2002, which was the country's first maritime environment monitoring satellite.

The satellite was launched by the Long March-2C carrier rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in North China's Shanxi Province.

The launch mission also marked the 334th flight of the Long March rocket family.

Photo: Courtesy of Zheng Taotao


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