China Launches First China-made Satellite GeoFen

China on Wednesday launched a hyperspectral imaging satellite, Gaofen-5, as part of the country’s high-resolution Earth observation project. Gaofen-5 was launched by Long March 4C rocket at 02:28, Beijing Time, from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province. The satellite, developed and produced by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, has a designed service life of 8 years and will be used to monitoring the environment and carry out resources surveys. Gaofen-5 is the first China-made satellite capable of monitoring air pollution. It dynamically reflects the state of air pollution in China through the monitoring of air pollutants, greenhouse gases, and aerosols.


The satellite, which can also detect inland water bodies, land surface ecology and environment and rocks and minerals and provide high-quality, highly reliable spectrum data for the country’s ecological and environment, natural resources and meteorological departments. Gaofen-5 is capable of obtaining spectral information from ultraviolet to long-wave infrared radiation. It is the world’s first full-spectrum hyperspectral satellite for comprehensive observation of the atmosphere and land. Gaofen-5 has the highest spectral resolution among China’s remote sensing satellites. It is equipped with six advanced observation payloads, such as shortwave infrared hyperspectral camera and a greenhouse gas detector.

It can investigate material composition through hyperspectral imaging technology. Hyperspectral imaging enables the satellite to identify different objects by scanning and detecting the unique spectral signatures of materials and objects on Earth, according to Wang Qiao, director of the Satellite Environment Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment. The satellite will help reduce China’s dependence on foreign hyperspectral satellite data. Gaofen-5 is one of the satellites of the high-resolution project. At present, the project has realized round-the-clock and all-weather high definition Earth observation. China will launch Gaofen-6 later this year to form a constellation with other Gaofen satellites in orbit.

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