The Long March-2B rocket carrying the Land Exploration-4 01 satellite will lift off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on August 13, 2023, early in the morning. China successfully launched the Land Exploration-4 01 satellite, the world’s first high-orbit Synthetic Aperture (SAR) satellite, into a preset orbit via a Long March-3B launch vehicle from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on May 1. :26 on Sunday.
The China National Space Administration (CNSA), which oversaw the launch and manages the satellite program, that the newly launched satellite is the world’s first high-orbit SAR satellite to enter the engineering implementation phase. The ability to provide all-weather and 24-hour observation of China’s territory and surrounding areas will further improve the space-based disaster monitoring system and is of great importance to the comprehensive strengthening of the country’s disaster prevention, mitigation and assistance capabilities.
The Land Exploration-4 01 satellite is a remote sensing research satellite listed in the medium- and long-term civil space infrastructure development plan (2015–2025).
The satellite operates in an inclined geosynchronous orbit and features a synthetic aperture radar payload with high resolution, wide coverage, multiple modes and light weight advantages, CNSA revealed.
Compared to low-orbit and optical satellites, the Land Exploration-4 01 satellite combines the advantages of short revisit period and large field of view of high-orbit observation with the advantages of microwave observation that is not limited by weather conditions (all-weather) and is not limited by light conditions (all-day), which can improve the accuracy and efficiency of identifying abnormal weather changes and improve the country’s comprehensive disaster prevention and control capabilities, CNSA said.
With the satellite now in orbit, it will enrich China’s key regional observation methods and provide all-weather and round-the-clock observation of China’s territory and surrounding areas, meeting the needs of disaster prevention and mitigation, earthquake monitoring, soil and resource exploration. as well as applications in industries such as marine, water conservation, meteorology, agriculture, environmental protection and forestry, according to a press release.
State departments under the leadership of China’s Ministry of Emergency Management, including the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Water Resources and the China Meteorological Administration, are key users of the satellite and will carry out the construction of ground systems and operational systems according to their specific needs.
The satellite was developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST.)
It was the second disaster prevention-related satellite launched by China in a week, following a satellite codenamed Environmental Surveyor 2F that was launched on Wednesday by a Long March 2C rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China’s Shanxi province.
Also developed by CAST in Beijing, the satellite is tasked with using its synthetic aperture radar to acquire images and data to support disaster prevention and mitigation, environmental monitoring and emergency response efforts. Its users are the Ministry of Crisis Management and the Ministry of Ecology and the Environment.
Space industry observers on Sunday hailed the country’s innovation power in space, which they said is increasingly creating value in civilian applications and shows that the country’s space development supports the concept of “putting people first.”
During the recent heavy rains that hit the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region in northern China, as well as Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces in northeastern China, 16 satellites, including the Gaofen-3 remote sensing satellites, were deployed to provide rapid imaging services to aid in disaster monitoring. state-owned aerospace giant China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) said on Saturday.
CASC told the Global Times on Sunday that these near-real-time satellite images taken in the worst-hit flood areas provided scientific data services to support disaster relief work.