This year marks the 50th anniversary of China’s Fengyun meteorological satellite program. The China Meteorological Administration (CMA) says that over the past decades, a total of 17 Fengyun satellites have been launched, with seven currently in orbit.
CMA notes that it has, through 50 years’ efforts, both established a large meteorological satellite ground application system, and been one of the few countries operating both polar-orbiting and geostationary meteorological satellites in the world.
At present, Fengyun-3 polar-orbiting meteorological satellites provide morning and afternoon networking observations, obtaining global observation data four times a day. Meanwhile, Fengyun-2 and Fengyun-4 geostationary meteorological satellites are positioned over the equator and carry out continuous, minute-scale high frequency observation of the fixed area covering one third of the Earth.
Fengyun satellite data has been pivotal for the numerical weather prediction (NWP) independently developed by CMA. Furthermore, Fengyun-3 polar-orbiting satellite observing data has been used in most of the global NWP models. The satellite system is also an important component in the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) space-based observing system as well as its International Charter: Space and Major Disasters.
Marking the anniversary, CMA notes that its Fengyun satellites can further contribute to global disaster preparedness, with future satellite developments increasing their capabilities and thus the insight they can provide.