Satellite to forecast Olympic weather
Updated: 2006-12-08 14:15
A Long March-3A carrier rocket, with Fengyun-2D
meteorological satellite, blasts off from Xichang, Sichuan Province
December 8, 2006. [Xinhua]
China successfully launched
its second geostationary orbit meteorological satellite, Fengyun-2D (FY-2D), on
Friday to provide better weather forecast services for the Beijing 2008 Olympic
The FY-2D satellite was launched into the target orbit at 8:53 am
aboard a Long March-3A carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center
in southwest China's Sichuan Province.
"The satellite will monitor
weather changes at all the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games venues," Li Qin, chief
designer of the FY-2D, said.
"The FY-2D will provide accurate and timely
information about weather changes to help us with weather forecasts during the
Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, especially the opening and closing ceremonies and
important contests," he said.
The satellite separated from the rocket
about 24 minutes after lift-off and then successfully entered the geosynchronous
transfer orbit, according to the satellite monitoring center in Xi'an.
This launch is the 11th flight of the LM-3A carrier rocket and all 11
flights have been successful.
"The LM-3A has entered a phase of steady
commercial operation," said Li Jinghong, deputy designer of the rocket.
China started developing the LM-3A in March 1986. At its first launch on
February 8, 1994, the LM-3A carrier rocket successfully sent the Shijian-4
satellite and a dummy satellite into orbit.
The 52.52-meter-long LM-3A
is mainly used to launch satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbit. With a
payload of 2.6 tons, it can transport several satellites at the same time.
"We are continuing to improve the technology and add equipment. For the
launch of the FY-2D we added a 48-channel global positioning system," Li said.
The 1.39-ton FY-2D satellite will take up a position in the next few
days at 86.5 degrees east longitude right above the equator.
developed and manufactured by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology
affiliated to China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp., can observe weather
changes around the clock. It is capable of carrying out infrared nephanalysis of
the form and structure of clouds and can also analyse data about daytime light.
The Fengyun-2D will form a twin-star observation system with Fengyun-2C,
China's first geostationary orbit weather satellite which went into orbit on
October 19, 2004, according to the China Meteorological Administration (CMA).
The two satellites have their own observation tasks, but can also
replace each other if one of them malfunctions, the CMA said.
help the CMA bolster weather monitoring information from western China where
cold fronts and sandstorms usually begin.
"The Fengyun-2D will expand
our geostationary weather observation range and improve the forecast and
monitoring of disaster weather," said Yang Jun, director of the National
Satellite Meteorological Center.
Its ground control system, which experts
describe as the most advanced in the world, will help monitor the space
environment and satellite movement.
The system will also work
around-the-clock with the satellite in orbit to receive images every half an
It will figure out sea surface temperatures and parameters of
clouds and airflows after further processing the data and images sent back by
the satellite, keep the statistics on file and provide application
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