China’s Gaofen-1 Earth Observation Satellites Return their Very First Images 

 

The Ministry of Natural Resources of China (MNR) released their initial images from Gaofen-1 three small satellites launched in March, which is a part of the observation of the Earth. 

Based on the release, it really shows that the observation satellite triplets, launched from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, are doing great in their altitude of 645 in a sun-synchronous orbit. 

Gaofen-1 satellites have been specially designed and customized in order to support all the needs of the MNR as well as observe the Earth to gather clearer and more concrete images, which are necessary for further studies. 

Long Xiaoxiang, together with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, said that when the satellites are observing our planet, they have similar color space, same observation position, and angle. That is why the images appear as if they were captured by only one satellite to different users. 

Both carry CCD cameras (2-meter resolution), multi-spectrum imagers (8m resolution), and 16 m multi-spectrum imagers as well. With Gaofen-1 satellite launched five years ago, they are able to form a constellation, providing revisit coverage that lasts two days and global coverage for 11 days. 

China Geological Survey (under the CNMS) Guo Dahai, said that the satellites would be utilized for the main tasks in relation to natural resources such as farmland, grasslands, geological survey, mineral exploration, forests, mountains, lakes, and water. He also added that they could also provide a service to other sectors such as infrastructure construction, forestry, agriculture, ecological protection, and disaster protection. 

As part of the CHEOS program that stands for the China High-resolution Earth Observation System, the Gaofen consists of aperture radar, and multi-spectrum imaging satellites. Yaogan series, a similar program of satellites, utilize the same capabilities only for classified use such as intelligence and reconnaissance. 

CHEOS provides spatial, high temporal and spectral resolution observation of our planet for meteorology, climate, global change monitoring, disaster relief, environmental management, and hydrology. It will be a big support for the Belt and Road initiative of China and the collaboration of Beijing and Tianjin Hebei. 

Developed by the CAST, the satellites will subordinate to the CASC, major space programme contractor. All in all, the China has Gaofen 1, 2, 3, 8, and 9 satellites that are already operating in orbit (low part of the Earth). It also has Gaofen 4 that is located in geostationary orbit.