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Xingyun Internet of Things (IoT)

The "Xingyun Project," undertaken by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), plans to launch dozens [the exact number changes all the time] of small satellites in the coming years. In building the constellation, communications between different places including remote areas like oceans, islands and deserts will be less affected by the distance and climate conditions. More satellites will be launched in several phases and other supporting work including trial runs and small-scale networking, while market development in China and around the world will be carried out at the same time.

Sanjiang Space Industry Group, a China Aerospace Science & Industry Corporation (CASIC) subsidiary research institute in Hubei Province, said 02 November 2017 that a new company will be in charge of a small low-earth-orbit satellite to form a group of satellites for narrow-band communications and improving communication in remote areas and at sea. "The small low-earth-orbit satellite constellations allow for Internet access and communications everywhere on the planet, including airplanes and ocean-going ships," said Wang Yanan, chief editor of Aerospace Knowledge magazine. Tan explained that researchers will have their own satellite design team and will buy satellites from outside, while the institute said that it already handed over a company plan to CASIC and is waiting for the results. CASIC is the country's largest tactical and air defense missile manufacturer and therefore, the commercial end of the aerospace business is a new field.

The first Xingyun satellite project, developed by the CASIC research institute, was successfully sent aloft in January 2015. This Xingyun project had some similarities with the new company proposal because it also contained plans for narrow-band satellite constellations. Network receipt terminals can be embedded in a number of devices for the global mobile IoT, or existing smart phones to allow users to send or receive text messages from any location.

China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp used one of its rockets to launch two technology demonstration satellites on 12 May 2020. It was a start in building what the company considers will be the nation's first space-based network for the internet of things, according to the company. Xingyun 2-01 and Xingyun 2-02, the first satellites in the Xingyun, or Moving Cloud, network, were lifted atop a Kuaizhou 1A solid-propellant carrier rocket at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China. The satellites were placed in a sun-synchronous orbit 561 kilometers above Earth, State-owned space and defense contractor CASIC said in a statement 12 May 2020.

The company said that Xingyun 2-01 was also named Wuhan in honor of the Hubei province capital, which was hit hard by the novel coronavirus outbreak. The rocket used in the mission was painted with images of medical workers to salute doctors and nurses who fought the highly infectious disease. The two satellites are tasked with verifying technologies such as laser-enabled intersatellite communication and data transfers between satellites and the ground-based internet of things, which refers to a network of devices, vehicles and other objects with software or sensors that allow them to connect and exchange data. They will conduct trial runs in polar and marine environmental research, geological disaster monitoring, meteorological forecasting and maritime communication.

China's first homegrown space-borne Internet of Things (IoT) satellite network Xingyun-2 completed its first stage constellation, and will launch 12 second-stage satellites next year, further enhancing its global service capability, developers said 06 September 2020. The project developer, along with LEOBIT Technology Co of the Wuhan-based Sanjiang Group, a subsidiary under the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), revealed the information to the Global Times.

The project aims to construct an 80-communication satellite in the Low Earth Orbit by around 2023, and the first stage of two satellites has been completed, the developer noted. The satellites will be used to test applications in multiple fields, such as intelligent container monitoring, polar environmental monitoring, meteorological forecasting as well as marine transport communication, and lay a foundation for the following space-based IoT network. The two satellites, codenamed Xingyun-2 01 and 02, are the first satellites of the network and were launched on May 12 by the China's Kuaizhou-1A commercial carrier rocket, which was developed by the Wuhan-based Sanjiang Group. In-orbit tests have been underway ever since.

The third generation of the satellite series, codenamed Xingyun-3, will see comprehensive enhancement of its predecessor Xingyun-2 satellites in almost every technological criterion, with an increased single-satellite service coverage capability from 320,000 to 750,000 users per satellite, according to the official. CASIC plans to send 12 of these satellites into orbit with the first six to be launched in a single mission scheduled for the second half of 2021 via a Kuaizhou-11 solid rocket.

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