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China’s FY-3D weather satellite deployed successfully

The China Meteorological Administration (CMA) has successfully launched its new polar-orbiting meteorological satellite, Fengyun-3D (FY-3D), which will provide early weather warnings to help reduce the impact of natural disasters.

The satellite took off on November 15 from the Taiyuan Launch Center onboard a Long-March-4C carrier rocket and will replace CMA’s eight-year-old weather satellite – FY-3B.

FY-3D has been fitted with five completely new remote sensing instruments including the Hyperspectral Infrared Atmospheric Sounder (HIRAS); the Greenhouse Gases Absorption Spectrometer (GAS); the Wide-angle Aurora Imager (WAI); and the Ionospheric PhotoMeter (IPM).

The function of the satellite’s core instrument MERSI (Medium Resolution Spectral Imager) has also been upgraded. The satellite has been fitted with 10 remote sensing instruments in total.

HIRAS covers 70 times the number of spectral channels compared to its predecessor and is expected to dramatically increase the forecast efficiency for typhoons or other high-impact weather events, with predictions up to five or seven days in advance.

MERSI, another core instrument on FY-3D, is comparable to the imager on board America’s JPSS satellite and is capable of precise, quantitative detection for clouds, aerosols and ocean colors, which is useful for disaster monitoring and environmental management.

China has successfully launched 16 meteorological satellites to date, seven of which remain in orbit providing large quantities of observational data for meteorology, oceanography, agriculture and aviation services. - November 2017

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