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China’s hyperspectral remote-sensing satellite put into use

ISLAMABAD (PEN) : China’s hyperspectral remote-sensing satellite has been officially put into use after completing in-orbit tests, providing important data support for ecological and environmental protection and pollution reduction, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA) .

The satellite, known as Gaofen-5 01A, is in good condition, with its subsystems functioning properly and performance meeting all the standards as intended, said the CNSA.

Launched on December 9, 2022, the satellite provides high-quality hyperspectral data for diverse fields, such as environmental monitoring, natural resource surveys and climate change studies.

A soil moisture monitoring map created with data from Gaofen-5 01A. /CMG

A soil moisture monitoring map created with data from Gaofen-5 01A. /CMG

The CNSA also released products delivered by the satellite, including a global ozone column concentration monitoring map, soil moisture monitoring map, sea ice monitoring map, water quality monitoring map and other hyperspectral data images.

“These application products are an important basis for national ecological monitoring, climate change response and natural resource surveys,” said Zhao Jian, director of the Earth Observation System and Data Center of the CNSA.

A global ozone column concentration monitoring map created with data from Gaofen-5 01A, May 21, 2023. /CNSA

A global ozone column concentration monitoring map created with data from Gaofen-5 01A, May 21, 2023. /CNSA

The satellite runs in the sun’s synchronous regression orbit, 705 kilometers above Earth.

According to the CNSA, the satellite carries payloads including a camera covering visible-to-shortwave infrared spectral range, an atmospheric trace gas differential absorption spectrometer, and a wide-range thermal infrared imaging device.

The camera covering visible-to-shortwave infrared spectral range plays an important role in water pollution control, ecological environment monitoring, mineral resources surveys. It has also made new progress in monitoring methane anomalous emission sources.

The atmospheric trace gas differential absorption spectrometer has enabled daily dynamic monitoring of ozone, nitrogen dioxide and other pollutants, providing important support to global atmospheric environment monitoring and governance.

A composite image depicting various monitoring data on methane emissions observed by Gaofen-5 01A, March 9, 2023. /CNSA

A composite image depicting various monitoring data on methane emissions observed by Gaofen-5 01A, March 9, 2023. /CNSA

Meanwhile, the wide-range thermal infrared imaging device is used in remote sensing monitoring operations, such as straw burning monitoring, sea ice monitoring and river and sea outfall monitoring.

With all the payloads, the satellite has achieved the global coverage of atmospheric environmental soundings once a day and global round-the-clock coverage of the land surface environment once every two days, said Zhao.

Launched in 2010, the Gaofen project has become the backbone network of China’s high-resolution Earth observation system. It has bolsters the construction of a national space infrastructure system integrating satellite communication, remote satellite sensing and satellite navigation.