China deploys new weather satellite to enhance weather forecasting


China recently launched a new meteorological satellite (FY-3E) with 11 remote sensing payloads, which will monitor worldwide snow coverage and sea surface temperatures and improve the countrys weather forecasting capability. According to the state-run Xinhua news agency, the satellite was deployed from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China into the orbit.

Notably, FY-3E (Fengyun-3E) will be the world's first meteorological satellite with 11 remote sensing payloads in early morning orbit for civil service. The satellite has an eight-year lifespan and will predominantly collect atmospheric temperature, humidity, and other meteorological characteristics for numerical prediction applications, thereby enhancing China's weather forecasting capability.

It will also record the sea surface temperature, global snow cover, natural disasters, and ecology to respond to climate change and to prevent & lessen impacts of weather disasters.

Additionally, the satellite will keep track of solar and space environments and their effects, and ionospheric data to fulfil the demands of space weather forecasts and supporting services, the report claimed.

Space analyst and chief editor of Beijing-based Aerospace Knowledge magazine, Mr. Wang Ya'nan, mentioned that for monitoring the most vital moments at dawn and dusk, the satellite would be covering the same area every morning and then shift to the other side of the Earth in the evening. As a result, it will provide richer and more reliable observation data for China and the rest of the globe.

China’s earlier satellite launches have occurred with a six-hour assimilation window, i.e. around 10 am and 2 pm, which is not sufficient to monitor the entire observation period, he further added.

With the launch of Fengyun-3E, it will cover up for the lack of observation orbits and fill in the gap in weather data, contributing significantly to weather forecasts in the northern and southern hemispheres.

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