China Meteorological Administration (CMA) received the first set
of images from the recently launched Olympic weather forecasting
satellite Fengyun-2D (FY-2D) on Friday afternoon.
CMA Deputy director Zhang Wenjian said the geostationary orbit
meteorological satellite had successfully connected with ground
control and was operating normally. He said the FY-2D would form a
twin-star observation system with Fengyun-2C, the country's first
geostationary orbit weather satellite launched in 2004.
The two satellites will monitor weather changes across the
Chinese territory every 15 minutes and send back images every half
Chief designer Li Qin said, "The satellite will provide accurate
and timely information about weather changes to help us with
weather forecasts during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, especially the
opening and closing ceremonies and important contests."
The FY-2D satellite was launched into the target orbit last
December aboard a Long March-3A carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest
China's Sichuan Province.
The ground control system will calculate sea surface
temperatures and clouds and airflow parameters from data and images
sent back by the satellite, maintain statistics and provide
China is the third country in the world after the United States
and Russia to operate both solar-synchronous meteorological
satellites and geostationary orbit meteorological satellites.
The solar-synchronous meteorological satellites, like the FY-1
series, are used for medium-range weather forecasting, monitoring
global ecological conditions and collecting data for shipping and
The geostationary orbit meteorological satellites are capable of
continuously monitoring and identifying dangerous climatic
conditions like typhoons and storms.
Besides monitoring weather changes in China, the FY-2D will also
monitor weather changes in neighboring countries.
(Xinhua News Agency January 13, 2007)