On June 13, China’s first geosynchronous orbit HD optical imaging satellite, Gaofen-4, was officially put into use. The successful operation of the satellite will significantly enhance China’s ability to carry out remote-sensing observations of the Earth, said Xu Dazhe, Head of State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense and China National Space Administration.
Gaofen-4 is China‘s first geosynchronous orbit HD optical imaging satellite and the world’s most sophisticated HD geosynchronous orbit remote sensing satellite. It boasts four working modes. The panchromatic multi-spectrum camera can take photos with outstanding definition of better than 50 meters and the breadth of individual image is better than 500 kilometers. The medium-wave infrared camera can take photos with definition of better than 400 meters and the breadth of individual image is better than 400 kilometers. Data collected by the satellite can meet quality demand for the sake of extracting remote sensing data relating to water, barrier lakes, cloud systems, woodland, forest fire spots as well as aerosol optical depth, and these data can be useful for disaster relief, meteorological forecast, earthquake surveillance, forest and environmental protection.
Gaofen-4 was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on December 29, 2015. After six months of motion in orbit, the satellite has successfully accomplished the test mission.
The high-definition earth observation project is of great importance to China’s ambition to build strategic space infrastructure. So far several satellites, including Gaofen-1, Gaofen-2 and Gaofen-4, have been successfully launched.
It is said that Gaofen-3 will be launched in August 2016. It’s predicted that by 2020 the Gaofen project will develop a stable system of satellites that can observe the Earth around the clock, under all weather conditions and at any point above the Earth.