China launches first terrestrial ecosystem carbon monitoring satellite

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The ecological observation satellite, named “Goumang”, will be launched into orbit at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern China’s Shanxi Province. (China National Space Administration/Zheng Taotao)

By Feng Hua, Zhang Wei, People’s Daily

China recently launched an ecological ecosystem carbon satellite from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern China’s Shanxi Province.

Named “Goumang,” the satellite is expected to provide remote sensing services and improve the efficiency and accuracy of sink carbon measurements, a major support for the country’s efforts to top the greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.

As a scientific research satellite under the framework of China’s medium and long-term development plan for national space infrastructure, Goumang will operate in a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 506 kilometers, it is 97.4 degrees, according to Cao Haiyi, the chief designer. of Goumang.

The ecological observation satellite, named “Goumang”, will be launched into orbit at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern China’s Shanxi Province. (China National Space Administration/Zheng Taotao)

The satellite can detect and measure phenomena such as vegetation biomass, atmospheric aerosols and chlorophyll fluorescence through remote sensing techniques, including laser, multi-angle, multi-spectral, hyperspectral, and polarization.

Satellites can provide a variety of services, such as monitoring carbon in the terrestrial ecosystem, surveying and monitoring terrestrial ecology and resources, monitoring and evaluating major environmental protection programs, monitoring the atmospheric environment, and obtaining data on the impact of aerosols on climate change.

In addition, the satellite fulfills the needs for vertical control point determination, damage monitoring and evaluation, and agricultural forecasting. Land surveying will be greatly appreciated in China.

The satellite can obtain information on the global forest carbon sink through active and passive remote sensing. This will help enhance the country’s ability to monitor and measure carbon sinks in a variety of ecosystems, including forests, grasslands, wetlands and wastelands.

The image shows a comparative view of China’s ecological landscape for satellite monitoring. (Image/ National Spatial Administration of China)

Equipped with payloads including laser radar, multi-angle and multi-camera, hyperspectral camera and polarization imaging, Goumang can monitor key data on the carbon sink potential of forests , including plant height, vegetation cover, chlorophyll fluorescence, and PM2.5 concentration, help improve the efficiency and accuracy of carbon measurements.

A multi-beam laser radar allows a satellite to measure the height of a tree by calculating the difference between the time the laser beams scan the crown of the tree and the time the beams scan the tree’s crown. laser the earth.

Through statistical analysis and application tests, the research and development (R&D) team has been able to use five laser devices on the radar to generate laser beams 200 times in second, it ultimately shortens the distance between the two objects to be inspected from several thousand meters to several hundred meters and greatly improves the accuracy of plant height measurement.

The satellite has five multi-spectral cameras, which help monitor the Earth from five angles. This allows the satellite to accurately measure vegetation cover and forest density. Five multi-view cameras can help the satellite create a three-dimensional map with high accuracy of the distribution of vegetation in the area observed by the satellite.

The satellite’s ability to accurately map the distribution of chlorophyll fluorescence is an important support for accurate and precise measurements of carbon sinks. In order to improve the accuracy of detecting the spectrum of chlorophyll fluorescence, which is very low in energy, a hyperspectral detector has been installed in the satellite, and the concept of grating spectroscopy has been used, which increased increase the optical resolution by ten times, it is possible. instrument to detect the most subtle change in daylight intensity.

To remove the effects of the atmosphere, a polarization imager has been installed on the satellite, which can see PM2.5 concentrations from 35 angles and obtain information about PM2.5 concentrations.

In addition, the satellite is also equipped with a laser radar, which can help monitor long-term PM2.5 concentrations. These two charges allow the satellite to provide information on PM2.5 concentrations from three areas, which provides a level of accuracy for air conditioning.

The Goumang launch marked the 430th mission of the Long March rocket family. Also launched on that rocket were two small satellites, the Jiaotong 4 and the Minhang Youth.

The Jiaotong 4 will be used to collect information on ship movements and aircraft conditions around the world, as well as information on the Internet of Things (IoT). The Minhang Youth, designated as a place for young students to participate in space science research and engineering activities, including satellite design, satellite R&D, satellite payloads, and satellite launch, will conduct Applied science research on Earth’s global carbon footprint. monitoring the source.

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