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Zi Yuan 2 / CBERS-2 (China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite)

The CBERS-2, also known as Ziyuan-2 (ZY-2), was launched 01 September 2001 from the Taiyuan Satellite Launching Center in the northern Shanxi Province. The satellite secretly has been designated as the Jianbing-3.

CBERS-2 is an Earth remote sensing satellite, with unique features thanks to its CCD, IRMSS and WFI cameras. It covers multiple applications, namely agriculture, forest, use of land, environment, water resources, etc. Compared to CBERS-1, launched in October, 1999, CBERS-2 possesses many improvements, remarkably in the qualification of some instruments and processing systems and in the quality of the images to be taken.

Although reputed to be available for earth resources applications, the absence of publicly released information has led western observers to conclude that its 3-meter resolution sensor is being used primarily for military reconnaissance. The satellite orbits the Earth every 94.3 minutes in an elliptical orbit of 305 miles by 294 miles, a lower orbit than the ZY-1. According to some reports, this satellite has a a three to five-meter resolution capability, though there is no apparent evidence for such claims. It is also claimed that even five-meter resolution would be more than sufficient for "strategic targeting", which would only be true in the narrow sense of being able to locate large fixed targets such as cities or airfieds [which is also true of much lower resolution sensors].

Brazilian President Cardoso visited Moscow from 13 to 15 January 2002. His visit was quite successful with an entourage of 91 government officials, politicians and business leaders. This was Cardoso's 85th trip in 7 years. As a result of this meeting, Russia may furnish remote sensing systems for Brazilian satellites with a resolution of one meter.

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Page last modified: 21-07-2011 00:50:44 ZULU