China launches new satellite to monitor weather, disasters

China on Thursday successfully launched the first of a new generation meteorological satellite into planned orbit which will be used in the fields of weather analysis, environmental and disaster monitoring.

    The satellite, Fengyun-4B (FY-4B), was launched by a Long March-3B rocket in the early hours from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan Province, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

    The FY-4B satellite which is the first of China’s new-generation meteorological satellites will be used in the fields of weather analysis and forecasting, and environmental and disaster monitoring, the report said.

    The new satellite will further strengthen China’s observation and response capability of small and medium scale disaster events and provide information security services for a range of sectors including meteorological, agricultural, aviation, marine and environmental protection, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) said in a press release.

    The network will also be able to conduct dynamic monitoring and tracking of a variety of disaster elements including floods, cold fronts, droughts and sand storms, state-run Global Times reported.

    Its observation range covers Asia, the central Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean regions, so that the network will also greatly improve China’s forecast accuracy of disaster weather including typhoons and storms, the report said.

    It is equipped with a rapid imager, improving measurement resolution to 250 meters from the geostationary orbit and accelerating scan imaging of the Earth, it said. 

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