The Atmospheric Environmental Surveyor, the world's first satellite to use laser radar to detect carbon dioxide, was launched into orbit by a Long March 4C carrier rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Shanxi Province on April 16.
The 2.6-metric ton satellite is now in operation in a sun-synchronous orbit 705 kilometers above the Earth. It is expected to greatly improve global carbon and air pollution monitoring capacity and realize leapfrog development of China's atmospheric remote sensing technology.
Developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the satellite, equipped with the radar laser devices, is able to work all-day even when there is no sunlight, enabling 24/7 high-precision global autonomous detection.
Meanwhile, the satellite also carries monitoring devices to support the radar laser by detecting regional geographic features.
Zhu Wei, chief designer of the Atmospheric Environmental Surveyor satellite, said that a high-precision greenhouse gas comprehensive detection satellite is planned for the future. It will mainly be responsible for detection of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane.
A view of the Atmospheric Environmental Surveyor satellite in a workshop [Photo/sasac.gov.cn]
(Executive editor: Niu Yilin)