China to customise satellite data for countries participating in its Belt and Road Initiative

The Fengyun 2 meteorological satellite being launched on June 25, 2000. By the end of April 2019, 22 countries have said they want to install the application software platforms of China's Fengyun satellites for various purposes.
The Fengyun 2 meteorological satellite being launched on June 25, 2000. By the end of April 2019, 22 countries have said they want to install the application software platforms of China's Fengyun satellites for various purposes.PHOTO: XINHUA

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - China will offer customised data services for disaster prevention through its Fengyun meteorological satellites for more countries along the Belt and Road, said a senior official of the China Meteorological Administration's National Satellite Meteorological Centre.

The services will be provided based on the results of a survey of 81 countries.

By the end of April, 22 countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Russia, Libya and Sudan, had responded to the survey.

All of the respondents said they wanted to install the application software platforms of the Fengyun satellites for weather forecasting, as well as climate and environment monitoring.

They also requested a range of services, especially in monitoring rainfall, droughts, dust storms, heavy fog and lightning, in addition to training courses on Fengyun meteorological satellite data analysis, remote-sensing applications and data collection.

Many countries along the Belt and Road have high mountains, deserts, oceans and a lack of accurate meteorological information. The number of meteorological disasters in the regions is more than double the global average, the administration said.

Ms Wei Caiying, deputy general-director of China's National Satellite Meteorological Centre, said that real-time disaster monitoring by meteorological satellites could provide these countries with a scientific basis for disaster prevention and reduction.

 
 
 
 

"Weather-related disasters such as typhoons pose a threat to life and property. Tracking their path could help local authorities decide how to proceed with evacuations," she said.

In addition to real-time monitoring, the China Meteorological Administration set up the Emergency Support Mechanism for international users of Fengyun satellites last April, which covers disaster prevention and mitigation.

So far, 15 countries including Iran and Mongolia have registered as users of the mechanism.

According to the administration, the mechanism can switch the on-duty satellite to a quick-scan mode focusing on areas required by users when they are hit by disasters.

"During disasters, Fengyun satellites can scan as often as every five or six minutes. The China Meteorological Administration could send users cloud images and products via satellites and public clouds," Ms Wei said.

For example, in March, China provided a remote-sensing monitor report on flooding in Iran via Fengyun. The analysis estimated the coverage and terrain characteristics of the flooded area, which greatly assisted the country's evacuation efforts.

China has launched 17 Fengyun series meteorological satellites, of which seven are currently operational.

The World Meteorological Organisation has included China's Fengyun series of meteorological satellites as a major element of its global Earth observation system.