China Planning to Launch an EO Constellation

This is the age of satellite constellations, writes Leah Yecla at International Business Times — following SpaceX and Amazon, China now has plans to launch a constellation of EO satellites, controlled by Artificial Intelligence (AI).

China Central Television, a state broadcaster, revealed that the AI-controlled constellation is set to be realized by 2021. A total of 192 individual, AI-controlled, LEO satellites will form a constellation to be known as the Xingshidai. The constellation will be used for traffic as well as environmental monitoring as well as have use in a disaster prevention role.

Xingshidai will use multiple resolution sensors. This will ensure that no low-quality images will be sent to Earth and prevent the unnecessary use of resources for low-quality images and data. As of this writing, the Xingshidai satellites are rolling out of production. ADASpace, a Chengdu based Chinese private company, is manufacturing the satellites.

Bringing the AI controlled satellite constellation to orbit is another element that China has likely ironed out. A group headed by Wang Long, project manager of the Chinese team behind the operation, will use the Julang-1 booster rockets to launch the satellites to orbit — the cost will be approximately 25 million yuan (£2.87 million).

Julang-1 has the capability of reaching 600 kilometers (372 miles) in altitude and will be able to carry as much as 330 lbs. (150 kg.) weight.

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