December 06, 2018 10:14
Korea's first homegrown geostationary weather satellite was launched successfully on Wednesday. The Cheollian-2A lifted off aboard the French Ariane-5 rocket in French Guiana at 5:37 a.m., according to the Science Ministry here.
The Cheollian-2A separated from the rocket at an altitude of 2,300 km 34 minutes after liftoff and sent its first communication with the satellite station in Dongara, Australia around 6:16 a.m.
The satellite will reach an altitude of 36,000 km and enter its targeted orbit over the next two weeks.
The Cheollian-2A is the first geostationary meteorological satellite Korea has built with its own technology. Its predecessor, the Cheollian-1 launched in 2010, was developed jointly with France.
The weather observation equipment carried by the satellite comes from American tech company Harris.
The Cheollian-2A is capable of shooting high-resolution color images that will make it possible to distinguish clearly between clouds and dust storms blowing over from China. It will therefore make pollution forecasts more accurate thanks to a camera's resolution four times as good as the Cheollian-1's.
It will also spot rainstorms at least two hours in advance as image processing time drops from the current 15 to three minutes. Accuracy in tracking typhoons is also expected to improve as it is now possible to observe weather conditions around the clock.
The Cheollian-2A will provide weather information services from July next year following a six-month trial after it has reached its orbit. The Cheollian-2B, a marine and environmental observation satellite Korea has also developed, will be launched late next year.
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