China launches second classified Gaofen-13 remote sensing satellite

HELSINKI — China added its initially civilian Gaofen Earth statement collection Friday with the launch of the labeled optical geostationary Gaofen-13 (02) satellite tv for pc.

A Lengthy March 3B rocket lifted off from the hill-surrounded Xichang Satellite tv for pc Launch Middle at 4:33 a.m. Japanese, March 17. The launch efficiently despatched the Gaofen-13 (02) satellite tv for pc into geosynchronous switch orbit, the China Aerospace Science and Know-how Corp. (CASC), announced.

The payload was solely revealed after launch, with hypothesis that the Lengthy March 3B would carry a ChinaSat communications or Beidou navigation satellite tv for pc.

CASC supplied no particulars of the satellite tv for pc’s capabilities, stating solely that the optical distant sensing satellite tv for pc is a high-orbit, high-resolution Earth statement know-how satellite tv for pc with nice significance to the event of China’s house know-how. The mission patch incorporates a galloping horse behind a Lengthy March 3B rocket.

The Gaofen-13 (02) (gaofen means excessive decision) satellite tv for pc is nominally a part of the civilian China Excessive-resolution Earth Remark System (CHEOS). Land surveys, crop yield estimation, environmental governance, meteorological early warning and forecasting, in addition to complete catastrophe prevention and mitigation are famous as the primary makes use of of the satellite tv for pc, according to Chinese language state media.

The primary Gaofen-13 satellite tv for pc was launched in October 2020, additionally utilizing a Lengthy March 3B rocket. The pair are considered extra succesful variations of the Gaofen-4 geostationary optical satellite tv for pc launched in December 2015. Gaofen-4 has a reported floor decision of fifty meters.

China additionally stated earlier within the 12 months that it deliberate to launch a 20-meter-resolution artificial aperture radar satellite tv for pc to geostationary orbit in 2023.

(CHEOS) was accepted in 2010 and was initially deliberate to include seven Gaofen satellites and a close to house and airborne system and a floor phase, in response to China Nationwide House Administration (CNSA) presentations to the United Nations Workplace for Outer House Affairs (UNOOSA). 

Whereas particulars have been printed of the Gaofen 1 via 7 satellites, these designed Gaofen-8 stay labeled, indicating navy clients.

China has up to now launched 4 Gaofen-11 satellites from Taiyuan Satellite tv for pc Launch Middle in north China utilizing Lengthy March 4B rockets. Earlier reviews point out these satellites belong to the labeled phase of China’s Gaofen collection, with the aptitude to return optical imagery at a decision of around 10 centimeters.

CHEOS comprise optical, multispectral, hyperspectral and artificial aperture radar satellites. A CHEOS close to house phase comprising airships, air flight platforms, and airborne Earth statement devices and information processing system was nevertheless additionally included within the plan to enhance its capabilities and information assortment, although little info has been printed on this side.

The balloon and different platforms are to hold three forms of earth payloads, together with optical, laser and artificial aperture radar (SAR). These had been to be able to offering pictures with a spatial decision of higher than 0.1 meters, and a spectral decision of higher than 1 nanometer. 

Notably that is a lot larger than the 1 meter spatial decision supposed to be supplied by the Gaofen satellites. The balloons would additionally enable surveillance for longer durations of time than the couple of minutes it takes a satellite tv for pc in LEO to go overhead.

An undeclared Chinese language excessive altitude surveillance balloon was detected in U.S. airspace earlier this 12 months. Reviews adopted of a wide range of high-altitude surveillance balloons in nations throughout five continents, suggesting balloons have been widely deployed for information assortment.

The New York Instances reported Feb. 13 that in 2019 an airship was despatched world wide, together with throughout North America. That near-space automobile was, in response to sources linked throughout the story, developed as a part of CHEOS.


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