FENGYUN meteorological satellites serve global sustainable development

Source: China Meteorological New Press Date: 2023/02/06

The world is bearing witness to new history. On December 9, 2022, at the first China-Arab States Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech and remarked that China will harness FENGYUN meteorological satellites and World Meteorological Centre Beijing (WMC-BJ) to support Saudi Arabia in disaster prevention and mitigation.

FY-4A carried out monitoring from 03:00 to 13:00 (UTC) on November 24, 2022 when heavy rain caused damages in Saudi Arabia. 

In the spirit of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits to build a community with a shared future for mankind, this moment marks a historic milestone for FY meteorological satellites to serve global sustainable development in recent years.

FY meteorological satellites are key members of WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS). So far, China Meteorological Administration (CMA) has successfully lifted off 19 FY meteorological satellites, with 7 currently in orbit. The satellite observation data are open and shared in real time to the world, providing data products and services to 126 countries and territories around the globe.

"The international application of FY meteorological satellites has demonstrated China's contribution to global meteorological capacity building and embodied China's global responsibility." Prof. Petteri Taalas, Secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) remarked.

From the perspective of security

There are many uninhabited areas such as mountains, deserts and oceans along the Belt and Road. Natural disasters, in particular, meteorological disasters are frequent and extreme. Therefore, satellite monitoring is of crucial significance.

On April 24, 2018, CMA officially established the Emergency Support Mechanism of FENGYUN Satellite (FY_ESM), which bears exceptional significance.

About one month later in June, China National Space Administration (CNSA) and CMA decided to adjust the position of FY-2H meteorological satellite, enabling FY series geostationary meteorological satellites to effectively carry out monitoring, and usher in a new era of global service.

In 2019, countries like Mozambique were subjected to severe flooding engendered by tropical cyclone Idai. In response, FY meteorological satellites provided timely services to these countries. “I want to thank the Chinese counterpart for offering assistance to Mozambique in tackling tropical cyclone disaster", said Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi when he paid visit to China in April, 2019.

In response to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, WMO has listed FY meteorological satellite products as one of the key resources to support other countries to boost meteorological disaster monitoring capacity.

On December 1, 2022, FY-3E and FY-4B officially entered operation. FY-3E has added early-morning orbit monitoring for global numerical weather prediction (NWP) service. FY-4B can provide minute-scale and 250-meter resolution imaging with Geostationary High-speed Imager (GHI) onboard the satellite. The two newly operational FY meteorological satellites join hands to efficiently support global monitoring, forecasting and services.

From the perspective of development

Ecological environment, science and technology, and talent resource hold the key to sustainable development.

FY meteorological satellites are capable of global monitoring of greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon monoxide. Supported by satellite data, a lot of research has been conducted on global climate change , which has further enhanced the level of climate change response, and constantly strengthened monitoring and detection capabilities of solar activity, space radiation environment, ionospheric imaging and magnetic field.

On November 15, 2022, FY-4B monitored the convective cloud cluster over Bali Island in Indonesia.

In 2019, CMA has also assisted Kyrgyzstan, Mozambique, Oman and other countries in setting up reception, processing and application systems of FY-2 meteorological satellites, propping up these countries in ceaselessly obtaining satellite monitoring data and services.

Facing the new trend of more available diversified data resources, and higher spatiotemporal resolution and product accuracy geared to global extreme meteorological disasters, FY-3D, FY-4A and FY-2H became on-duty satellites of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters in early 2022. Moreover, FY-4B provided support for the 17th Group of 20 (G20) Summit held in 2022.

In addition, more than 1,000 international users have participated in the training of FY meteorological satellites in the past five years.

By virtue of sophisticated technology, stable operation, and high-quality data products and service, FY meteorological satellite has become a paragon of serving global sustainable development.

Photo source: National Satellite Meteorological Centre

Editor: Liu Shuqiao

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