Founded on July 1, 1971, the National Satellite Meteorological Centre (NSMC) is an ancillary unit to the China Meteorological Administration (CMA). As a state-level operational S&T public service, the NSMC undertakes the mission of formulating the development plans for Chinese meteorological satellites, operating the meteorological satellite application systems and the meteorological satellites in orbits, developing meteorological satellite application systems, making sci-tech researches on meteorological satellites, carrying out applications and services on meteorological satellite data and products, offering spatial weather monitoring, early warning and system development services, and providing technical instructions to meteorological administrations on remote sensing application etc.
Thanks to the unremitting efforts of several generations of meteorological and aerospace scientists, China’s meteorological satellite work sees a rapid development. Polar-orbiting meteorological satellites have realized upgrading and covered the mid-morning and afternoon orbits. Geostationary meteorological satellites have achieved binary observation and in-orbit backup. Satellite remote sensing also obtained impressive achievements. By the end of 2013, China has successfully launched 12 Feng Yun meteorological satellites including six polar-orbiting and five geostationary meteorological satellites. Currently FY1-D, FY-3A/B and FY-2C/D/E/F are running stably in orbits. China has seen a scale and serial development of meteorological satellites, realized the transformation from experimental application to business service and become one of the few countries and regions in procession of both polar-orbiting and geostationary observational systems. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has included FY-1 and FY-2 into global meteorological satellites for business application, enabling China’s FY satellites to be important members of the world’s comprehensive earth observation system.
Currently, China has built a satellite receiving network consisting of the state-level receiving stations in Beijing, Guangzhou, Urumqi and Jiamusi and the Kiruna station in Sweden, built a national satellite remote sensing application system with the state-level data processing and service center as the main part and the 31 provincial satellite remote sensing application centers and more than 2500 satellite data receiving stations as the members. In addition to receiving data from FY meteorological satellites, the system also receives and utilizes data from satellites of the US, Japan, European countries and relevant organizations. The CMACast for broadcasting FY satellite data, built with DVB-S, is one of the three core members of Group on Earth Observations (GEO). Nowadays, more than 200 CMA Cast user receiving stations are in use across the world.
Boasting a high-level sci-tech research team, NSMC, centering on meteorological satellite engineering and business operation, has been constantly increasing its sci-tech strength and influence, actively carrying out researches on radiation transmission mechanism theories and experiments, meteorological satellite data receiving, processing technologies and algorithms, applications and expanded applications of meteorological satellite data, and spatial weather monitoring and early warning etc. NSMC has independently developed the full software packages with IPR for the operation control and ground data processing for China’s meteorological satellites, stably improving the reliability and quantitative data processing accuracy for the ground application systems and receiving praises from international peers for some algorithms applied by other meteorological satellite operation organizations. It has independently developed and produced dozens of multi-source meteorological satellite image products, quantitative products and analysis products for atmosphere and global surface environment monitoring, and offered a lot of public and professional services for departments on meteorology, ocean, agriculture, forestry, water conservancy, aviation, navigation, environmental protection and military service.