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ZY 3 2



The new satellite is the second of a series of high-resolution civilian remote sensing satellites, grown from a project that was initiated in March 2008.

With Ziyuan-3 (2) the global coverage period is shortened by half and the re-visit cycle is shortened from five days to three days. Also, the resolution of the stereo mapping camera was improved from 3.5 to 2.7m.

The new satellite carries three high-resolution panchromatic cameras and an infrared multispectral scanner (IRMSS). The cameras are positioned at the front-facing, ground-facing and rear-facing positions.

Two cameras (front-facing and rear-facing) have a spectral resolution of 2.7m and 52.3km ground swath while the ground-facing camera has a spectral resolution of 2.1m and 51.1km ground swath. The IRMSS has a spectral resolution of 6.0m and 51.0km ground swath.

The satellite is equipped with two 3 meters solar arrays for power generation and will orbit a 505.984 km sun-synchronous solar orbit with a 97.421 degree inclination. This orbit will have a re-visit cycle of 5 days.

The operational period will be four years with a possible life extension to five years.

The new satellite will conduct surveys on land resources, help with natural disaster-reduction and prevention and lend assistance to farming, water conservation, urban planning and other sectors, surveying the area between 84 degrees north and 84 degrees south latitude.

The spacecraft is composed of a service module and a payload module. The service module provides supporting functions to the spacecraft such as structure and mechanisms, power generation, control and pointing services, data management subsystem, temperature maintenance, propulsion subsystem, and TT&C (Tracking Telemetry and Command) services.

The payload module includes the sensor complement, the DTS (Data Transmission System), and the image data recording system. The three-line array camera is mounted on top of the spacecraft payload module, pointing toward Earth.

The ZY-3 satellites are designed and constructed by CAST/BISSE (China’s Academy of Space Technology)/Beijing Institute of Spacecraft System Engineering) for the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR), using modified ZY-2 platform. The spacecraft is 3-axis stabilized, with the launch mass about 2,630 kg.

Alternate Names

  • 41556
  • ZY32

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2016-05-30
Launch Vehicle: Long March 4B
Launch Site: Taiyuan, Peoples Republic of China
Mass: 2630 kg

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (Peoples Republic of China)


  • Earth Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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