Jilin-1: China’s first commercial remote sensing satellites

Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, imaged by the Jilin-1A optical satellite over 600km above the Earth. (Photo: Courtesy of Chang Guang ST Co.)

China’s first domestically developed commercial Earth imaging satellites are up-and-running in orbit, and are the first step in an ambitious plan to secure a niche in a growing sector and help revitalise the Northeast China economy.

Launched in October, Jilin-1 consists of four satellites – two providing high-definition video, one for commercial high-definition images, and another for testing new space technology. And ten more are due to join them in 2016.

Jilin-1 was developed by a commercial entity – Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co. Ltd – belonging to the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics (CIOMP) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co told gbtimes that it aims to build a brand new commercial platform and a completely open eco system, to lower the threshold for remote sensing applications, and fill the void of remote sensing for civil use in China.

To this end, the 420kg Jilin-1A optical satellite is providing images of a maximum full colour resolution of 0.72 metres and 2.88m multispectral resolution.

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