China excels in meteorological science

China has become one of the best countries in the world in terms of meteorological science and technology after decades of efforts, said an article published on People’s Daily Overseas Edition on Sept. 30.

The article hailed China’s major breakthroughs in this area, especially in the past five years, which were achieved with help from the aerospace industry.

WeChat, China’s most popular mobile social media mobile network changed its splash screen from the famous photo of the Earth called Blue Marble taken in 1972 by NASA to a satellite picture of the planet showing China taken by the Fengyun-4A satellite, the first of China’s second-generation geostationary orbiting weather satellites.

WeChat said in a statement that while the African continent is the origin of human civilization, it is also important to show the network’s millions of users the significance of Chinese civilization.

It is also a tribute to China’s developments in meteorological science and technology.

The Fengyun-4A satellite was launched on December 11, 2016. Compared with its predecessor, the Fengyun-2, a first-generation geostationary orbiting satellite, it has made major breakthroughs in many fields and achieved a number of international firsts.

By adopting 3-axis stabilization technology, the satellite is more efficient under using flexible area scanning.

According to Lu Feng, deputy chief-engineer of the ground application system of Fengyun-4A, the satellite, with high-performance instruments, is able to observe lightning 500 times in one second, which will greatly improve the country’s nowcasting capability.

China has launched eight meteorological satellites, becoming one of the few countries to simultaneously operate polar and geostationary orbiting weather satellites.

Three polar orbiting satellites observe the whole globe on the morning and afternoon of each day, and five geostationary orbiting satellites observe the medium- and low-altitude area centered on China that covers a third of the globe, Lu introduced.

After 40 years of development, China’s Fengyun series has become one of the best civil remote-sensing satellites in the world, with improved international influence and brand power.

Fengyun meteorological satellites are now serving more than 90 countries, with ground stations in 18 Asia-Pacific countries.

Lu said that Fengyun geostationary meteorological satellites are important for disaster prevention and relief in the Belt and Road countries. Since the satellites broadly cover these countries, they can serve as an excellent reference for weather forecasts, he added.

After months of operation, the Fengyun-4A satellite has withstood tests and begun showing its capability. It has successfully predicted the formation and development of the meteorological conditions in multiple weather phenomena in China this year, including the severe dust in northern China in May and the intense rainfall in the South in July.

The satellite has been incorporated into the World Meteorological Organization Integrated Global Observing System, and will make greater contribution to regional disaster prevention and risk reduction.

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