China recently launched Gaofen-7, a high-resolution Earth observation satellite which is estimated to play a crucial role in land surveying and providing stereoscopic imagery. This marks a significant milestone in China’s history as the move signifies Beijing’s aim to reduce reliance on foreign technology for land surveying and topographic mapping.
For the record, the satellite and its carrier rocket were developed by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology and CAST (the China Academy of Space Technology), under the China Aerospace Science & Technology Corp. Gaofen-7 satellite is capable of obtaining high-precision laser altimetry data and high-resolution optical 3D observation data. Given such core technological competencies of the satellite, it is anticipated to be majorly utilized by the Housing & Urban-Rural Development, the National Bureau of Statistics and the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Gaofen-7, China’s first civil-use optical transmission 3D surveying & mapping satellite was lifted by a rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre, located in northern China and was laid into its designed orbit, stated the state-run media, China Central Television (CCTV).
Gaofen-7 boasts of the highest level of accuracy with respect to mapping capabilities, as compared to other satellites of the Gaofen series. Reportedly, the satellite is not only able to map China’s topography, but also map the world’s lands stereoscopically with a margin of error of less than a meter.
As per the China National Space Administration (CNSA), the main purpose of launching the Gaofen series under China’s satellite remote sensing project is to develop a 24-hour, all-weather, global Earth remote sensing system by 2020. Apparently, the high-res satellite which is expected to be utilized for statistical investigation, land surveys and urban planning, will aid China in concluding its reliance on foreign imports in high-res stereo mapping.
The Gaofen project is one of the 16 major projects that are key to China’s scientific development. The project is also aimed at expansively strengthening the country’s self-reliance in retrieving high-resolution earth observation data, cite sources.