China has launched its second ocean survey satellite, Haiyang-1 – a crucial component of China’s three dimensional survey system.
The new spacecraft was launched on a CZ-2C Chang Zheng-2C (CZ2C-16) from Taiyuan Satellite Launching Center at 03:27 UTC Wednesday, China’s second launch in two months, following the Long March 3-A launch vehicle lift-off with the a communications satellite from the Xichang Satellite Launch in February.
Haiyang-1 will be used to ‘monitor and prevent oceanic pollution, resource investigation, construction of bayou and ports, and for the development of coastal areas,’ according to Sun Zhihui, top ocean research official from the State Oceanic Administration, cited by Xinhua, using a the system to monitor ocean temperatures.
The Haiyang-1B follows the steps of Haiyang-1A (27430 2002-024A) launched in May 15th, 2002 – which is being used to monitor the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea and the East and the South China Seas, using remote sensing technology.
Built entirely by Chinese scientists, the Haiyang-1B is a upgraded version of the previous satellite in the series. Its operational life is expected to reach three years, according to Bai Zaoguang, Chief Scientist of the program.
Haiyang-1B should be capable to provide three times more information than Haiyang-1A. The new satellite has software and internet capabilities that weren’t available on Haiyang-1A.
This allows the satellite to repair itself on orbit, using a system of 10 computers that work in conjunction to repair the vehicle if any problem occurs, avoiding some problems that have affected Haiyan-1A in the past.
With the Haiyang-1B, ‘the satellite’s observational devices now have a 3.000 km range and it’s imaging devices provide higher resolution photography,’ added Bai Zaoguang.
China is planning the development or more five oceanographic satellites to be launched in the near future, developing a system of ocean color remote sensing satellites, ocean dynamic environmental satellites and ocean surveillance satellites.
The Haiyang-2 satellite will be launched in 2009. This will be a ocean dynamic environmental vehicle.
China is also currently analyzing the customer demand for the Haiyang-3 satellite. With these new satellites, China will close the research gap with developed countries in satellite launching, observation technologies, and in ground and control
Oceanic satellite ground stations are planned to be established in Mudanjiang City, in Heilongjiang Province northeast China, and in Beijing.
China is expected to be in launch action again on April 17, although Chinese officials are yet to confirm the mission.