China last week at Friday noon (7th Dec) launched a series of seven small satellites that are expected to serve different segments including field emergency rescue, wildlife protection, vehicle & ship monitoring and logistics tracking.
A Long March-2D rocket, blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 12:12 p.m on Friday. According to reports the rocket carries the satellites called as “ladybeetle series” along with three small satellites and two major satellites for Saudi Arabia.
The satellite series included three CubeSats composed of six cubic units (10*10*10 cm), Ladybeetle 1 – weighing about 100 kg and another three CubeSats composed of three cubic units.
The satellites are said to be manufactured by a Beijing-based private satellite company “Commsat” under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) funded by the Xi’an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics.
Xie Tao, the founder, and CEO of Commsat mentioned that “We named them ‘ladybeetles’ as we hope they are down-to-earth, bring qualified services for our clients and have strong vitality.” Disclosing about the cost and flexibility of Ladybeetle series Xie added that “A satellite at a weight of about 100 kg can accommodate more payloads than smaller minisatellites, but will consume much less power when connecting with ground terminals than big satellites weighing over a tonne.”
Peng Yuanyuan, the co-founder and chief operating officer of Commsat talking about the ladybeetle series mentioned that the series will be used in testing a closed-loop system for IOT including cloud computing platforms, satellites, ground control stations, and terminals.
“We expect that IOT will mushroom in 2020, with about 20 billion terminals being connected to it. However, only 10 percent of our globe is covered by the ground network, and many things, such as ships, pipelines, and wildlife, are scattered across vast areas without the network” said Peng during the launch.
Peng also added that to complete the deployment of a constellation of 72 satellites in 2022, the company is eyeing to launch another four satellites by next year. According to him, the company’s satellite will also provide data to sports watch to help in monitoring client’s heart rates and temperatures during participation of outdoor activities.
The satellites will also be helpful in monitoring the conditions of containers at sea. Apart from that, the satellites will also establish a connection with the necklace that has been developed for giant pandas and released into the wild to know about their temperatures, locations, and calls.
Commsat earlier in February has launched ‘Young Pioneer 1’, China’s first shared education satellite to provide students with experiences like space photography and wireless communication etc. The educational satellite is said to have shared its data resources with different educational institutes, primary and secondary schools equipped with sub-stations in China.