China’s remote sensing satellites have started to provide “sub-meter” images for foreign clients by using continuously upgraded technologies, stdaily.com reported on Tuesday.
On Monday, China launched Venezuela’s remote sensing satellite, the VRSS-2, into a preset orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gansu province.
The satellite will be used by Venezuela to evaluate land resources and for environmental protection, disaster monitoring and management, crop yield estimation, and city planning.
Scientists with the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), developer of the VRSS-2, said the satellite will outperform its predecessor, the Venesat-1, Venezuela’s first satellite launched by China in 2008. The better performance is mainly attributed to two cameras installed on the satellite, a high-resolution camera, and an infrared camera.
The high-resolution camera, which is about the same size as a study table, has a resolution of less than one meter, according to its chief designer with CAST. This resolution allows viewers to tell the difference between a bus and a small car.
The infrared camera, which is about the same size as an A3 printer, enables the VRSS-2 to capture images 24 hours a day at minus 215 degrees centigrade, according to its chief designer. To make sure the infrared camera works, the developers have installed a refrigerator to control heat.
The VRSS-2 satellite was launched by a Chinese Long March-2D carrier rocket designed by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology.
(The story is also published on People’s Daily Online)