The Gaofen-2 was launched from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China's Shanxi Province at 11:15 a.m. Beijing Time. It was boosted by a Long March-4B carrier rocket.
China successfully launched a high-definition Earth observation satellite into orbit on Tuesday, August 19, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND).
It will be used for geographic and resources surveys, environment and climate change monitoring, precision agriculture, disaster relief and city planning.
Images of Lop Nur lake located between the Taklamakan and Kumtag deserts in the southeastern portion of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region
Pictured Changji Hutubi Valley
Dongying estuary beach
Successfully sent its Gaofen-2 satellite into its orbit 600,000 meters high. The two cameras on the satellite have the highest resolution of one meter at such a height. It is higher than those on Gaofen-1 satellite China launched in April 2013.
According to experts, the resolution of one meter means the satellite is able to discern the outline of an object on earth of the size of one meter. It is definitely able to discern the size of a car on the ground from more than 600 km away.
Pan Teng, chief engineer of Gaofen-2 Satellite System said that the satellite can provide full-color photo covering an area 45 km wide. It is the widest area a satellite of similar function can cover.
However, it does not mean that the higher resolution the better the satellite. It depends on the user’s needs. For estimate of the output of crops in agriculture or survey of mineral resources, there is no need for such high resolution. There has already been Gaofen-1 satellite with lower resolution.
However, with higher resolution, Gaofen-2 will be able to provide resource survey and monitor, meticulous urban management, comprehensive traffic services, forestry survey and surveillance, etc. China no longer needs to purchase photos of those kinds from abroad. Moreover, the satellite sends the data its cameras collect immediately down to the earth to be processed into photos.
Gaofen-1 launched previously played an important role in the current work of earthquake relief at Ludian, Yunan Province. Now, Gaofen-2 will play an even better role due to its better motility. It can swing 35 degrees on each side bigger than the 20-degree swing each side Gaofen-1 can achieve. This enable it to provide fuller views of the disaster area.
Source: “Bare the mystery of China’s Gaofen-2 satellite, able to clearly see a car from a height of 600,000 meters” (summary by Chan Kai Yee)