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14 new satellites in orbit will help warn of disasters

By Zheng Jinran | China Daily | Updated: 2016-07-05 07:45

China will be among a handful of nations that can build two types for monitoring entire globe

China will put another 14 weather satellites into service by 2025, up from the current seven, in a bid to better monitor weather patterns to benefit society.

Since 1988, China has launched 14 satellites in its Fengyun series for meteorological observation and related services. Of those, only seven are still in operation, Zheng Guoguang, head of the China Meteorological Administration, said on Monday.

Together, all the satellites, both geostationary and orbiting, are expected to provide complete global weather monitoring and put China on the short list of countries that build both types, said Yang Baohua, deputy manager of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

The United States and Europe also build both types, Yang said.

Wu Yanhua, deputy head of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, said they would cooperate with other authorities, including the China Meteorological Administration, to make the plan work.

They made the remarks at a forum on the development of weather satellites held in Beijing on Monday.

The seven operational weather satellites are able to scan the world every 25 minutes - and certain regions every six minutes, the national meteorological authority said.

Currently, more than 2,500 domestic users, including companies and institutes, have received data from the satellites, Zheng said.

"The satellites have played an increasingly important role for the country to combat disasters and climate change, and to play a role in environmental protection," Zheng said.

They were especially effective in monitoring meteorological disasters like typhoons and torrential rains, he said.

For example, casualties caused by typhoons fell dramatically to 21 last year thanks to advanced monitoring. Casualties in the last century were as severe as 3,500 a year.

Zheng added that the satellites have observed all 415 typhoons that have formed in the western Pacific from 1998 to 2015, with timely monitoring and better accuracy in forecasting their movements.

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