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Chinese-French satellite nearly ready

By Jiang Chenglong | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-21 06:59

It will help analyze effect of surface winds, waves on climate change

Chinese and French space scientists are working in Beijing on the final assembly of their first jointly developed satellite, which is scheduled to be launched in the second half of 2018 to assist in oceanographical research.

Based on China's CAST 2000 satellite platform, which has been applied to dozens of satellites successfully, the China-France Oceanography Satellite, known as CFOSAT, will be equipped with two major high-tech instruments - French-developed surface waves investigation and monitoring radar and Chinese-developed wind scatterometer.

The China National Space Administration said in a news release that the French-developed parts were delivered on time to their Chinese partner in August and the two nations' science teams are working together on the final assembly in Beijing.

"After the assembly, we will run a series of tests in different simulated environments similar to those in space in terms of temperature, vacuum and radiation," said Wang Hui, deputy director of the Beijing Institute of Spacecraft Environment Engineering.

The satellite is expected to be launched in the latter half of next year in China and will operate at an orbit 500 kilometers above Earth for three years, according to the administration.

The satellite is tasked with detecting the wind and waves on the ocean's surface and helping analyze their effect on the air-sea interface, which will enhance what is known about climate change.

Daniele Hauser, director of Laboratoire Atmospheres, Milieux, Observations Spatiales in France, said the satellite will observe the wind and waves in both normal and extreme weather conditions.

"Unlike others, it can measure the wind and waves at the same time, which relies on two countries' most advanced technology," she said.

The wind and wave data collected by the satellite will be extremely significant for an exact marine meteorological forecast, which will benefit sea transportation, marine pollution prevention and the yacht industry, according to the China National Space Administration.

Huang Yaohui, deputy chief commander on Chinese side of the project, said, "The data gathered by the satellite will be shared by both China and France."

The CFOSAT program started in 2009.

"Both Chinese and French side have utilized their rich experience and developed this satellite with a number of world-leading technologies," said Wang Lili, chief designer of the satellite at China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.

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