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People's Daily Online

China to launch fourth FY-3 meteorological satellite in 2017

People's Daily Online

By Zhang Huan (People's Daily Online) 18:40, March 24, 2017

According to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, China plans to launch its fourth Fengyun-3 (FY-3) meteorological satellite in the second half of 2017, Xinhuanet.com reported on March 23. It will be China's 16th meteorological satellite.

Having more satellites in orbit means better weather forecasts, storm analysis and environmental monitoring. Zhu Wei, deputy chief designer of the satellite, explained that the fourth FY-3 satellite has clear advantages over the previous three, as it possesses better stability, reliability and accuracy. It is also equipped with remote sensing instruments including an Infrared High-Spectrum Atmospheric Sounder, Wide-Angle Aurora Imager and Ionosphere Photometer.

The satellite will achieve continuous all-weather monitoring of atmospheric parameters including liquid water path, moisture content, surface emissivity and surface temperature. It will be unaffected by adverse weather conditions, unlike most satellites.

Zhu also stated that China eventually plans to launch four more FY-3 satellites so that the global weather forecast model can be shortened to four hours from the current six, in order to predict natural disasters earlier and with greater accuracy.

According to China's Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, only the U.S., Europe and China possess both polar-orbiting and geostationary meteorological satellites. Currently, China's meteorological satellites are the primary source of information for weather forecasts in the eastern hemisphere.

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