Jun 15, 2016

Monitor Floods and Pollution with the Gaofen 4

Nowadays, weather changes and other climate change related issues are very hard to predict. In order to alleviate this problem and facilitated both disaster relief and environmental pollution control, China’s newest high-resolution Earth observations satellite known as the Gaofen-4 will be activated on Monday to begin its operations.

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According to the head of the Chinese Meteorological Administration Zheng Guoguang, the satellite is at least 10 times more efficient than the active Fengyun satellites already in orbit. He also added that the Gaofen-4 will help the administration’s capacity to detect and respond to extreme weather changes like typhoons and rainstorms.

Zheng said, “We will use it [the satellite] to monitor floods and rainstorms in the south. It will also be used to forecast the weather during the G20 Summit in Hangzhou in September.”

The director of the China National Space Administration Xu Dazhe has also expressed positive sentiments regarding the Gaofen project as the satellite showed efficient results throughout its test run for the past six months, recording several disasters and environmental changes regarding air pollution. He also adds that the satellite would be helpful in water quality control, air pollution measurement, disaster early-warning and forest fire detection.

The Gaofen-4 is a part of the 2010 Gaofen project with three satellites already in orbit from 2013 to 2015. The satellites have already assisted 1,800 government departments and other related agencies in both national and local level as reported by the China National Space Administration.

The fourth satellite from the project is 5-metric tons and was launched on December 29, 2015 while on top of the Long March 3B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan. Seven days later, it managed to reach the geosynchronous orbit which is around 36,000 km above the ground before it began its test run.

The Gaofen-4 has a design lifespan of eight years which is considered the longest lifespan for any Earth observation satellite in existence.