By Hai Sheng
China’s first civilian high-definition mapping satellite Ziyuan III 01 has made outstanding performance after 8 years of service.
The satellite has captured 3.01 million images, sending back data covering 79 million square kilometers of the globe, or 53 percent of the land area, said a recent seminar held to celebrate its 8th birthday in orbit.
The satellite, launched from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi province on Jan 9, 2012, made key breakthroughs in China-developed high-definition mapping technology. Putting an end to the history when Chinese remote sensing satellites were not able to map, it has enabled China to produce 1:50,000-scale maps and achieve prominent economic and social profits.
As of Dec. 31, 2019, the three-line-array images it captured had covered 99.89 percent of China’s land area, and 63 percent of the global land area. All the data it produces conform to the 1:50,000-scale standards, realizing full automation of data production.
During the past eight years, the Ziyuan III 01 satellite has conducted large-scale investigations of natural resources, providing over 100,000 images on an annual basis. All the data it collected in the period covered nearly 60 million square kilometers for China’s national geomatics database.
The satellite’s data also helped relevant departments to monitor de-capacity performance of the iron and steel industry, the cancellation of illegal piers along the Yangtze River economic belt, as well as national nature reserves in Anhui and Hubei provinces, providing important basis for the implementation of China’s major reforms.
Since the launch of the satellite, it has served nearly 100 disaster emergencies at home and abroad, such as the earthquake in Ya’an 7 years ago, as well as the major landslide taking place in southwest China’s Sichuan province which later formed a barrier lake. It offers significant support for the decision-making and emergency response of central and local governments, and disaster relief departments.
Thanks to the satellite’s sustained operation and efficient services, the Land Satellite Remote Sensing Application Center under China’s Ministry of Natural Resources has provided over 2 million images that covered more than 800 million square kilometers of land for 2,200 users in China and the rest of the world. The satellite’s data have been used in 17 countries, and its technology and information services have covered over 40 countries and regions.
China will gradually establish a satellite constellation to capture 1:50,000-scale to 1:10,000-scale maps, so as to offer long-term, stable and sustained satellite data for high-definition mapping and improve the quality of remote-sensing services for natural resource management.