At 11, September 6, in Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, A Satellite and B Satellite, China’s first Environment Satellite (also called Environment & Disaster Monitoring and Predicting Small Satellite Constellations), were successfully put into orbit by using “one rocket, two satellites”. The Hyperspectral Imager, the satellite’s payload, was developed by XIOPM and was successfully launched with the first environment satellite.
China’s First Environment Satellite Successfully Launched
The environment satellite is a up-to-date civil satellite after China’s meteorological, oceanic and land resources satellites. The constellations, comprised of several small satellites, are an advanced earth observation system equipped with types of sensors of Hyperspectral imager, CCD cameras and infrared cameras. According to the plan, two small optical satellites of the constellation system (A satellite and B satellite) would be launched this year and small satellite of Synthetic-aperture radar (C Satellite) will be launched next year, comprising a “2+1” constellation.
It is reported that there are now in China more than 2,000 environment monitoring stations, producing about 30 million data every year. However, the present environment and disaster monitoring and research measures still stay at the conventional stage, and cannot meet the needs for national economic and social sustainable development. The launched satellite will form a stereo-environment monitoring system with the ground monitoring stations, which will forecast all the common disasters and will greatly shorten the observation circles with a global cover every other day (The observation circles for China’s present oceanic and resources satellites stretches as long as 7 to more than 20 days). By means of quick cover repetition of the country, we can realize large-scale, in-time and dynamic environment and disaster monitoring and forecast, thus furthering disaster reduction.
April 2009，HJ－1 Satellite A and B on-orbit delivery ceremony was held in Beijing， and near 150 leaders and representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology， Ministry of Civil Affairs, Ministry of Finance， Ministry of Land and Resources， Ministry of Environmental Protection， Ministry of Agriculture， China Meteorological Bureau， State Oceanic Administration, State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping， Chinese Academy of Sciences and China Aviation Science and Technology Group Company attended the ceremony.
The hyper-spectrum imager researched and developed by our institute for the environmental satellite, characterized by stable on-orbit service，high reliability，smaller volume， high spectral linearity and wide spectral range，is widely used for monitoring land desertification， salinization and stone desertization, detecting ice and snow disaster and forest/grassland fire and surveying land resources wide-area land classification；for vegetation classification, evaluation on effect of afforestation and returning cultivated land to forest; for finding cut-down and destruction of forest；for serving agricultural crop estimate， monitoring plant disease and insect pests and ecological environment change, etc, and will play important role in quantitative analysis and evaluation on natural disasters， environmental pollution and occurrence of accident endangering human being, etc.
For the above-mentioned Lu Yongxiang, Director of the Academy, sent his letter of congratulation on behalf of the Academy’s Party branch to express warm congratulations and sincere solicitude to our institute. In his letter of congratulation，Director Lu pointed out that Xi’an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics and Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics undertook research and development of main effective load hyper-spectrum imager and infrared camera for the HJ－1 Satellite A and B. Half-year on-orbit business testing shows that the two sets of devices have all indexes reaching application requirements and been delivered to the user for use successfully，providing important completely-new approach for China’s environment and disaster monitoring, marking China’s another major breakthrough in the field of satellite borne spectral imaging technology and infrared imaging technology and making China rise to the advanced level of the world. So the project is another important achievement of the institute in implementing knowledge innovation project. He encouraged research personnel from the two institutes concerned to make persistent efforts, take national major demand as the goal and continue to carry forward the spirit of “two missiles and one satellite” and manned spaceflight spirit so as to make greater contributions to China’s environmental disaster reduction cause and progress of space remote sensing technology！