According to China Daily, the country has begun construction on a constellation of 36 low-orbit satellites to collect data for natural disaster forecasting and monitoring.
Tianjin Satcom Geohe Technologies Co., Ltd. is in charge of the new project. Guo Jianqiang, president of the tech firm in charge of this massive project, told China Daily that the first satellite will be launched and operational in June 2022. The remaining satellites will be launched by the end of May 2023.
China is not the only country that uses satellites to predict natural disasters. The International Charter Space and Major Disasters is a global initiative that uses space technology to assist rescue and emergency responders in the event of natural disasters. It currently has 17 Charter members and 61 contributing satellites from around the world participating in order to organize resources and expertise for a quick response to catastrophic global events. The best part is that this network is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ensuring that no disaster goes unnoticed or unaided.
Satellites are also used by the European Space Agency to monitor (and provide stunning images of) events such as cyclones, earthquakes, fires, floods, volcanoes, and even oil slicks.
Jianqiang also stated that the new Chinese satellite network will provide high-resolution images to assist experts in detecting and analyzing millimeter-level geological deformations. This will allow scientists to better assess and forecast “the possibilities of geological disasters, such as landslides, subsidence, and collapse.”
The official went on to say that the satellite data, “combined with geological survey and monitoring data captured by ground sensors” will significantly improve “the accuracy and timeliness of natural disaster prediction” giving governments and citizens more time to prepare for such events.
China also started work on a 13,000-satellite internet mega constellation in April. The internet satellites would use a variety of frequency bands.