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China’s hi-res SAR imaging satellite put into use

Updated: Jan 23,2017 6:52 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s first high-resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite has passed all its in-orbit tests and is now operational, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense on Jan 23.

The Gaofen-3 satellite, which is accurate to one meter in distance, was launched in August 2016.

Tong Xudong, a senior engineer with the administration, said the satellite covers the globe with an all-weather, 24-hour observation service and will be used for disaster prevention and reduction, ocean monitoring, and the protection of maritime rights.

Gaofen-3 is China’s first low orbit remote sensing satellite to have a long lifespan.

With 12 imaging modes, Gaofen-3 has the most imaging modes in the SAR imaging satellite family. The high-definition observation satellite is capable of switching freely between various imaging modes, taking wide pictures of both earth and bodies of water, and detailed photographs of specific areas.

Gaofen-3’s spatial resolution ranges from one meter to 500 meters and its largest viewing swath is 650 kilometers.

According to the administration, Gaofen-5 hyerspectrual satellite is planned to be launched in September 2017.

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