Photo shows the FY-4A satellite launched on Dec. 11, 2016. Photo: courtesy of the CMA
By Zhao Beijia, People’s Daily
According to China Meteorological Administration (CMA), 4 to 5 typhoons might be generated in northwest Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea, and 1 or 2 of them could possibly hit or have an obvious impact on the coastal areas in south China.
However, forecasters are not frightened by the complicated and severe situation, as China’s FY meteorological satellite series are having real-time monitoring of the weather, offering timely and rich observation data.
Precise satellite observation is a key factor in improving the efficiency of meteorological disaster monitoring and early warning. Over the past 50 years, China’s FY satellite series have constantly helped the country improve the accuracy of weather forecast. So far, China has successfully launched 17 FY satellites, including 7 that are currently in orbits. These satellites have reached an internationally advanced level.
At present, FY satellite series can monitor disastrous weathers such as typhoons, rainstorms, severe convections, heavy fogs, sandstorms, and hazes, as well as ground surface conditions such as floods, forest and grassland fires, and heats and droughts.
FY satellites play an irreplaceable role in typhoon monitoring, said Tang Shihao, deputy chief engineer of FY meteorological project. From the launch of the FY-2 satellites to August this year, all 566 typhoons generated in northwest Pacific Ocean, including 165 that hit China, had been monitored by the satellite. The FY-4 satellites reduced the recognition time for disastrous weathers from 15 minutes to 5 minutes, and narrowed the error for typhoon track prediction from 95 kilometers to 71 kilometers, Tang introduced.
The remote sensing service of FY satellites has made significant contribution to China’s construction of ecological civilization. FY satellites can detect the environment of the Earth, so as to reflect the dynamic changes of resources and environment, and thus support the sustained development of economy and society. Meteorological departments at all levels, exploiting the data from FY-satellites, have launched remote sensing service for urban heat islands, floods, fires and vegetation. They play a prominent role in monitoring meteorological factors and ecological hazards, safeguarding ecological red lines, and evaluating ecological quality.
Besides, FY satellites have also become a new brand in serving the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China is willing to provide meteorological services to all parties using its Fengyun-2 weather satellites, said Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province on June 10, 2018.
So far, China has offered data and products related to FY satellites to 115 countries and regions, and opened green channel for 39 countries. Twenty-nine countries are now users of China’s Emergency Support Mechanism of FY Satellites. Besides, over 1,200 people from more than 100 countries have joined training sessions related to FY satellites. These satellites have played an important role in monitoring typhoons in Vietnam, the Philippines, and Mozambique.
FY satellites’ data and products are widely applied in marine, agriculture, forestry, environmental protection, hydraulic engineering, aviation and power industries, generating sound economic and social benefits. The CMA is offering huge data every day through satellite radio and internet, covering over 2,700 users from nearly 100 industries.
Liu Yaming, head of the CMA told People’s Daily that FY series, as on-duty satellites for the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters, are offering irreplaceable meteorological monitoring services for global users. The CMA has preliminarily established a world-class disaster prevention and early warning system, and is considered one of the world’s meteorological centers by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), in which FY satellites played an important role.
China’s FY satellites have long been a major participator and contributor to the WMO Space Programme, and their wide application have largely improved the monitoring and forecasting capabilities for developing countries in Africa, said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, adding that FY series are an important infrastructure for the WMO to build a community with a shared future for mankind.
Xu Jianmin, academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering and former chief designer of Fengyun-2 ground application system, noted that China will keep developing the third generation of Fengyun satellites and the corresponding application system, and fully exploit the role of the satellites as the first line of defense in meteorological disaster prevention and relief, so as to offer strong support for safeguarding people’s safety, serving industrial development, promoting livelihood and constructing ecological civilization.
The colored composite image taken by FY-2H satellite. Photo: courtesy of the CMA
Photo taken on Sept. 15, 2018 shows Typhoon Mangkhut monitored by FY-4A satellite. Photo: courtesy of the CMA