HY-2B Satellite Successfully Lunched: Marking a New Journey of China’s Construction on Marine Dynamical Environment Observing Network

After HY-2A satellite was successfully launched 7 years ago, on October 25, HY-2B satellite was launched into space in Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, marking a new journey of the construction on the world’s first marine dynamical environment observing network. The satellite will further boost our nation’s operational capacity for observing marine remote sensing, advance our marine forecast, observation, and early warning levels, improve our response ability for marine disaster prevention and reduction as well as emergency events, and serve the development and application of our marine resources. It also provides technical supports for our nation to be involved in global governance, jointly cope with climate change, and contributes to the building of both aerospace and maritime powers in the new era.


One satellite serves for multiple purposes: multi-load integration represents the development direction of marine satellites

As human beings keep stepping forward towards the exploration of space, the development trend of satellites, originally single functioned, is gradually transforming to the direction of multi-functional integration. However, the realization process is arduous. Take HY-2B satellite as an example, due to six major loads, its electromagnetic environment is very complicated, as it operates with a rate of over 8 bands and has the highest number of antennas nationwide.

According to experts, based on what it has on the A satellite, HY-2B is newly equipped with ship identification and data collection subsystems, realizing a perfect integration of six payloads. In addition to a precise observation of ocean dynamical environments such as the sea surface height, wind field and temperature, it also has two “sidelines”: automatic ship identification capacity, as well as the reception, storage, and transmission of buoy measurement data from offshore and other sea areas worldwide.

In order to ensure a smooth function without any mutual impact between loads and the normal sending and receiving of signals, the HY-2B team of China Academy of Space Technology conducted system planning in testing methods and performed targeted treatments of several links such as whole-satellite final assembly, subsystem, loads, stand-alone machines and cable en-wrapping.

One satellite serves for multiple purposes. As to future multi-functional integrated development of satellites, HY-2B undoubtedly provides its own answers.

 As a microwave remote sensing satellite, HY-2B, with its edge of being free from interventions of objective conditions, such as weather and light, is able to provide all-weather and all-time uninterrupted service.

HY-2B is like a mobile phone floating in the air, which is on at any time and anywhere. To ensure that the satellite stably remains on the orbit for a long time, optimized design, such as a usage life of 5 years, has been applied on the satellite. In addition, bulks of ground test experiments and redundant design optimization of key links have been conducted, giving its operation “double insurance”.

The radar altimeter and scanning microwave radiometer of HY-2B can identify ocean frontal surface and mesoscale eddies, and can be used to detect ocean fishing grounds. The radar altimeter, microwave scatterometer, and microwave radiometer can also provide meteorological supports on fishing grounds for fishing.

Being the main remote sensor installed on HY-2B, the microwave radiometer plays a key role in detecting marine dynamic environment parameters. In terms of medium and long-term numerical weather prediction, as well as ocean dynamical environment prediction and monitoring, it acts as a nimble “golden finger” that could detect marine dynamical environment.

Covering over 90% of the world area, this “golden finger” is able to work all-time and all-weather. It can obtain marine dynamical environmental parameters, like the sea surface temperature, sea surface wind speed, sea ice, oceanic rainfall, water vapor content and liquid water content, helping with getting information on global sea area conditions in a timely and comprehensive manner.

The microwave scatterometer carried by HY-2B is a highly-integrated radar. It can quickly collect comprehensive vector wind fields on global sea surface by accurately detecting weak scattered signals on the sea surface, and using geometric model functions to deduce wind direction and air volume. Featured with large-scale, all-time and weather, and global observation, its sea wind field detection covers over 90% of global sea areas per day, acting as a “clairvoyance” to detect typhoons.

Given its excellent on-orbit performance, academician Jiang Xingwei, director of National Satellite Ocean Application Service of the Ministry of Natural Resources, said that “HY-2 plays significant roles in the respects of national marine resources detection, disaster prevention and relief, and marine environment governance. Follow-up business networks will better serve the world and support the strategy of building our nation into a maritime power.”