China launches hyperspectral Earth observation satellite

Chinese researchers have launched a second apparatus for hyperspectral monitoring of the atmosphere, water and earth. They want to create a whole system for tracking the resources of the planet.

China launched Gaofen 5, a new hyperspectral Earth observation satellite. Long March 4C rocket launched from Taiyuan Cosmodrome. During the launch, spectators could observe how the insulation tiles fell from the payload fairing and the upper stage of the rocket.

The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) announced the launch after the satellite entered its planned orbit. According to US space monitoring, the satellite was in an orbit with an altitude of about 685 km, tilted at 98 degrees.

Its sun-synchronous orbit means that the satellite will pass by the same point on the Earth at the same local time every day. Gaofen 5 (02) was developed by the Shanghai Academy of Space Technology (SAST). The satellite is based on the SAST3000 platform and carries seven instruments for hyperspectral monitoring of the atmosphere, water, and earth.

Hyperspectral imaging means that the satellite will track hundreds of very narrow channels of light, from ultraviolet to far infrared, allowing the satellite to receive images that indicate the chemical-physical composition of objects in the image.

The new satellite will join other Gaofen series optical and radar remote sensing satellites, which together form the China High Resolution Earth Observation System (CHEOS). The first CHEOS satellite, Gaofen 1, was launched in 2013. Little is known about the newer Gaofen series satellites that can capture very high resolution optical images. The first satellite, Gaofen 5, was launched in 2018.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
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Alexandr Ivanov

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