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China Opens Earth Observation Imagery to APSCO Members

(05 July 2013, Written by Matt Ball) Today, China signed an agreement to provide earth observation satellite data to members of the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO). The China National space Administration (CNSA) and APSCO signed a memorandum of understanding at a meeting in Beijing to provide the data for use in natural disaster reduction and relief.

APSCO is an inter-governmental organization established in 2005, with China as its host and one of its nine member states. Members include agencies from Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Peru, Thailand and Turkey. The APSCO convention promotes collaborative space technology development in member countries, with research, training, and peaceful applications. The organization has defined projects on designing, building and launching light satellites, middle class satellites weighing 500–600 kg, research satellites, remote-sensing and telecommunications satellites.

China’s remote sensing capacity has been expanding rapidly, with the Gaofen-1 high-definition Earth observation satellite launched this year. The The the third satellite of its Environmental Protection & Disaster Monitoring Constellation, Huanjing-1C was launched in November 2012. These satellites are owned by the National Committee for Disaster Reduction and State Environmental Protection Administration of China, with the objective to establish an operational Earth observing system for disaster monitoring and mitigation using remote sensing technology and to improve the efficiency of disaster mitigation and relief. This series of satellites, and their corresponding data, will be a large contributor to meet the new international agreement.

The APSCO Data Sharing Service Platform is designed for managing and storing remote sensing data and providing data retrieval facilities.

Sources: Xinhua, APSCO