Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Monitoring Global Disasters through Satellite

China is considering using it's environmental resources satellites to monitor natural disasters in the country as well as other parts of the world, said the country's space authority.

China will expand the use of its Cbers-2B satellite to gather more information on land, forests and farmland to help itself and more countries to deal with natural disasters, said China Daily quoting Li Guoping, spokesman of the China National Space Administration (CNSA). A number of countries have already shown interest in acquiring such data from China's satellites, said the paper.

Launched on Sept 19, Cbers-2B is the third earth resources satellite jointly developed by the China Academy of Space Technology and the Brazilian National Space Research Institute.

The high-definition Earth-observing satellite with a designed lifespan of two years, was first designed to gather resources data and send images to China, Brazil and other countries, for use in agricultural production, environmental protection, city planning and land resources surveys.

"Tests on data collection in Australia were conducted last year and similar tests will be carried out this year in Africa and Spain. In the near future, ground stations are expected to be built in some countries besides China and Brazil to receive data from Cbers-2B," China Daily quoted Li as saying.

China and Brazil have announced in last November they would share data from Sino-Brazilian resources satellites with African countries, as a way to support economic development in the continent. The CNSA also signed an international disaster-relief cooperation charter last year, agreeing to provide free data and information to countries hard hit by natural disasters, so they can monitor disasters and assess their impact.

The Cbers-2B became fully operational yesterday and will replace the Cbers-2, which was launched in 2003 and has outlived its two-year lifespan, according to Li.

Year 2008 marks the 20th anniversary of Sino-Brazilian cooperation in developing resources satellites. The two countries are now in discussions to carry out wider cooperation, he said.

Source : http://www.terradaily.com/


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