China launches new satellite to monitor air pollution

BEIJING, May 9: China today successfully launched a hyperspectral imaging satellite for comprehensive observation of the atmosphere, including air pollution which is one of the country’s major problems.
The Gaofen-5 satellite was launched off the back of a Long March 4C rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province. It was the 274th flight mission by a Long March carrier rocket.
The satellite, launched as part of its high-resolution Earth observation project, was developed and produced by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation can be used for comprehensive environmental monitoring.
It has a designed life of eight years, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Tong Xudong, chief designer of the Gaofen series said, Gaofen-5 is the first China-developed satellite that can monitor air pollution. It can dynamically reflect the state of air pollution in China through the monitoring of air pollutants, greenhouse gases, and aerosols, the report said.
Gaofen-5 is able to obtain spectral information from ultraviolet to long-wave infrared radiation. It is the world’s first full-spectrum hyperspectral satellite for comprehensive observation of the atmosphere and land.
It has the highest spectral resolution among China’s remote sensing satellites. It is equipped with six advanced observation payloads, such as shortwave infrared hyperspectral camera and a greenhouse gas detector.
It can investigate material composition through spectral imaging technology.
Wang Qiao, an official from the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said the satellite can detect inland water, land surface environment and altered minerals, providing reliable data for China’s environmental monitoring, resource exploration, and disaster prevention and mitigation.
It will help reduce China’s dependence on foreign hyperspectral satellite data.
Since the Gaofen project began in 2010, China’s view of the planet has become clearer. China will also launch Gaofen-6 this year to form a constellation with other Gaofen satellites in orbit.  (PTI)