China To Launch Upgraded Oceanic Satellite

Chinese scientists plan to put into orbit the Haiyang 1-B (Ocean 1-B), an advanced version of the Haiyang 1-A oceanic satellite, by the end of this year to monitor marine environment and disasters. The Haiyang 1-B Satellite was still undergoing testing, said Sun Laiyan, vice director of the Commission of Science Technology and Industry for National Defense.
 
Sun told a national conference on oceanic science and technology that the technical flaws of the Haiyang 1-A had been removed from the upgraded satellite, and the data quality to be collected would be improved.
 
Bai Zhaoguang, chief scientist on the Haiyang 1-B project, said the main function of the Haiyang 1-B would be to observe sea surface height, waves, currents and temperatures.
 
The satellite’s operational life was expected to reach three years, one year more than that of Haiyang 1-A, Bai said.
 
The Haiyang 1-A, China’s first experimental satellite to use ocean color detecting, was successfully launched in May 2002 and had a designed lifespan of two years.
 
The “color” of the ocean is determined by the interactions of light with the water. The satellite can measure a wide array of shades to determine levels of phytoplankton, sediments, and dissolved organic chemicals, which most affect the color.
 
The oceanic satellite would be China’s most important satellites together with a series of weather and resources satellites, said Sun Zhihui, director of the State Oceanic Administration.
 
The administration would actively participate in the country’s space plan and develop satellite projects to realize three-dimensional monitoring of the ocean, Sun added.
 
Source: Xinhua News Agency & Spacedaily


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