Reportedly, the high-resolution images clicked by Chinese Earth observation satellites are aiding with emergency operations in disaster-hit regions of southwest China’s Sichuan province. Sichuan—which is situated between two tectonic plates—experiences frequent natural hazards, like earthquakes, barrier lakes, and landslides. Shi Fuqiang, Chief of the Sichuan Academy of Safety Science and Technology, said, “Earlier, we primarily monitored disaster zones by visuals, and then we began using uncrewed aerial vehicles. But it still consumed much time, resources, and manpower.” In 2010, China started to build up the High-resolution Earth Observation System, planning to offer all-weather and continuous global coverage by 2020. With the system of Gaofen observation satellites, China had a clearer view of the planet. The data from the Gaofen satellites has been extensively used in over 20 industries in China.
Shi asserted, “With the data from Gaofen, we can rapidly locate disaster-hit regions, making a timely investigation of the scale and nearby surroundings, and take helpful rescue & relief measures.” Shi mentioned a mountain flood and mudslide as a result of heavy rain that disconnected the power, road links, and communication in Sichuan’s Wenchuan County in August 2019. He said, “By using the Gaofen satellites and other remote surveillance satellites, we presented timely data and technical assistance for the disaster management department of the Sichuan province. Approximately, seven harshly hit regions covering around 1.19 million square meters area was identified,” Shi reported.
On a similar note, China’s first electromagnetic satellite has started to bear fruitful results. The Asian country’s first seismo-electromagnetic satellite—Zhangheng 1—has acquired fruitful electromagnetic data, as per to the CASC (China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation). The satellite has empowered China to get hold of a universal geomagnetic map and an ionospheric map by its intellectual property rights. It has gained information regarding international ground artificial sources, signals of earthquakes over 7 magnitudes, and magnetic storms. It also aids in understanding the linking mechanisms of the atmosphere, lithosphere, and ionosphere.