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China is planning to launch its first satellite in a new constellation of very-low Earth orbit satellites in September, according to the China Aerospace Science & Industry Corporation (CASIC).
The constellation, which will orbit at an altitude of 150 to 300 kilometers above the Earth, will offer enhanced efficiency in information acquisition and transmission while requiring lower research and development costs than traditional orbit satellites.
One major application for these satellites is in remote sensing. Very-low Earth orbit satellites have less weight and cost compared to traditional orbit satellites but can still offer the same resolution performance. This allows them to quickly respond to natural disasters and emergencies, acquiring high-resolution images in a short period of time, which can improve the capability of information acquisition.
The development of these very-low Earth orbit satellites is part of China’s plan to build a remote sensing space infrastructure system with global coverage and efficient operation in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025). CASIC, which is leading the development, plans to build a satellite constellation that will rival traditional orbital satellite systems in performance while offering lower costs and faster responses.
To achieve this goal, CASIC plans to support the constellation construction with rapid batch manufacturing and launch capabilities. The first satellite in the series will verify and demonstrate key technologies such as very-low Earth orbit flight, high-resolution Earth imaging, intelligent processing, and direct transmission of information to user terminals.
Very-low Earth orbit satellites are expected to play a crucial role in remote sensing, providing quick and efficient responses to natural disasters and emergencies while requiring lower costs than traditional orbit satellites.
WORDS: Scientific Inquirer Staff.
IMAGE CREDIT: NASA.