Yaogan

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Yaogan (simplified Chinese: 遥感卫星; traditional Chinese: 遙感衞星; pinyin: Yáogǎn wèixīng; lit. 'Remote Sensing Satellite') is a broad term that refers to the various families of Chinese military reconnaissance satellites.

Although officially described as being used for scientific experiments, crop yield estimation, and disaster prevention, Yaogan satellites are largely known to primarily support Aerospace Reconnaissance Bureau of the Second Department of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).[1][2]

Mainland Chinese government officials claim Yaogan satellites are mainly used for scientific experiments, land survey, crop yield assessment, and disaster monitoring, however various Western sources claim that most serve a military reconnaissance role for the Aerospace Reconnaissance Bureau of the Second Department of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Yaogan satellites have been launched from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center (TSLC) in China's northern Shanxi Province, the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center (JSLC) in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and the Xichang Satellite Launch Center (XSLC) in Sichuan Province.[3]

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)[edit]

Jianbing 5[edit]

The Jianbing 5 family of Yaogan satellites, with military designations beginning with "JB-5", are China's first space-based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) systems. These satellites, whose developmental funding was provided in full by the People's Liberation Army (PLA), are built by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST) and launched from the Taiyun Satellite Launch Center (TSLC) and provide military analysts radar imagery purportedly at a resolution as high as 5 meters over the L-band (1–2 GHz).[4] JB-5 satellites have been confirmed to have an electronic motor-powered solar panel which can be expanded and contracted by the ground control station. Jianbing 5 family of satellites have a reported mass of 2,700 kilograms and an orbital inclination of approximately 97° in sun-synchronous orbit.[5] As of May 2022, China has launched eight individual Yaogan satellites of the Jianbing 5 family with the first launch in April 2006 and the most recent in November 2015. Yaogan 1, launched in April 2006, reportedly broke up around 4 February 2010 almost four years after its launch.[4] Due to the small number of pieces and low orbital speeds, the breakup was likely due to an internal explosion, not a high-speed collision.[6]

Jianbing 7[edit]

The Jianbing 7 family of Yaogan satellites, with military designations beginning with "JB-6", are Chinese military radar reconnaissance satellites with an orbital period of 97 minutes. As of May 2022, China has launched four Jianbing 7 radar satellites with the first launched in April 2009 and the latest in November 2014 with a mass of 1,200 kilograms (2,600 pounds).

Unnamed Jianbing Family[edit]

Although the JB designation number is still unknown for this family, China has launched three satellites of a modernized successor family to the Jianbing 5 family of SAR reconnaissance satellites. This family uses the same orbit as the JB-5 family but likely has a different design according to published illustrations.[7] The second satellite of this family, Yaogan 33, failed to reach orbit in May of 2019. It's likely replacement, Yaogan 33R, was launched a year and a half later but used different launch site (Jiuquan instead of Taiyuan) and into a higher orbit (682 km × 686 km).[7]

Optical reconnaissance[edit]

Jianbing 6[edit]

The Jianbing 6 family of Yaogan satellites, with military designations beginning with "JB-6", provides the Chinese military optical imaging capabilities to compliment the Jianbing 5 family's SAR reconnaissance capabilities.[8] It has been reported that the Jianbing 6 family have a resolution of 0.8 meters.[4] As of May 2022, China has launched five individually launched Yaogan satellites of the Jianbing 6 family with the first launched in May 2006 and the latest in May 2016.

Jianbing 9[edit]

The Jianbing 9 family of Yaogan satellites, with military designations beginning with "JB-9" provides the Chinese military with optical imaging capabilities, likely as a successor to the Jianbing 6 family.[9] The optical payload of Yaogan satellites in the Jianbing 9 family was developed by the Changchun Light Technology Institute.[10] As of May 2022, China has launched five individually launched Yaogan satellites of the Jianbing 9 family with the first launched in December 2009 and the latest in August 2015.

Jianbing 10[edit]

The Jianbing 10 family of Yaogan satellites, with military designations beginning with "JB-10" provides the Chinese military with optical imaging capabilities, likely as a successor to the Jianbing 3 family.[11] As of May 2022, China has launched three individually launched Yaogan satellites of the Jianbing 10 family with the first launched in December 2008 and the reported last of the family in September 2014.[11]

Jianbing 11[edit]

The Jianbing 11 family of Yaogan satellites, with military designations beginning with "JB-11" provides the Chinese military with optical imaging capabilities.[12] As of May 2022, China has launched two individually launched Yaogan satellites of the Jianbing 11 family with the first launched in May 2012 and the latest in November 2015.[12]

Jianbing 12[edit]

The Jianbing 12 family of Yaogan satellites, with military designations beginning with "JB-12", are military optical reconnaissance satellites.[13]

Ocean surveillance (ELINT)[edit]

Jianbing 8[edit]

The Jianbing 8 family of Yaogan satellites, with military designations beginning with "JB-8", consist of one primary satellite and two sub-satellites launched in triplets. These satellites reportedly perform a ocean or naval surveillance mission similar to those of the United States' Naval Ocean Surveillance System (NOSS or PARCAE). The triplet groups likely fly in a loose formation to locate radio emitters using the difference in time of arrival of radio signals at the different satellites. Jianbing 8 satellites have a mass of 200 kilograms (440 pounds) and an orbital period of 107.10 minutes.[4][14][15] As of May 2022, there have been nine launches of Jianbing 8 triplets (twenty-seven total satellites) with the first triplet launching in March 2010 and the latest in March 2021.

CX-5[edit]

All Yaogan satellites[edit]

Satellite name Military
designation
Launch
date
Function Approximate orbit NORAD
ID
COSPAR
designator
Contractor Launch site Launcher Status
Yaogan 1 JB-5-1 27 April 2006 SAR 635 km–637 km, 97.9° 29092 2006-015A SAST TSLC Long March 4B Decayed
Yaogan 2 JB-6-1 25 May 2007 Optical 639 km–663 km, 97.9° 31490 2007-019A CAST JSLC Long March 2D Operational
Yaogan 3 JB-5-2 12 November 2007 SAR 635 km–637 km, 97.8° 32289 2007-055A SAST TSLC Long March 4C Operational
Yaogan 4 JB-6-2 1 December 2008 Optical 642 km–660 km, 97.9° 33446 2008-061A CAST JSLC Long March 2D Operational
Yaogan 5 JB-10-1 15 December 2008 Optical 494 km–501 km, 97.3° 33456 2008-064A CAST TSLC Long March 4B Decayed
Yaogan 6 JB-7-1 22 April 2009 SAR 518 km–519 km, 97.6° 34839 2009-021A SAST TSLC Long March 2C Operational
Yaogan 7 JB-6-3 9 December 2009 Optical 630 km–666 km, 97.8° 36110 2009-069A CAST JSLC Long March 2D Operational
Yaogan 8 JB-9-1 15 December 2009 Optical 1200 km–1212 km, 100.5° 36121 2009-072A SAST TSLC Long March 4C Operational
Yaogan 9A JB-8-1A 5 March 2010 ELINT 1089 km–1107 km, 63.4° 36413 2010-009A CAST JSLC Long March 4C Operational
Yaogan 9B JB-8-1B 36414 2010-009B Operational
Yaogan 9C JB-8-1C 36415 2010-009C Operational
Yaogan 10 JB-5-3 10 August 2010 SAR 629 km–627 km, 97.8° 36834 2010-038A SAST TSLC Long March 4C Operational
Yaogan 11 JB-6-4 22 September 2010 Optical 670 km–625 km, 98.0° 37165 2010-047A CAST JSLC Long March 2D Operational
Yaogan 12 JB-10-2 9 November 2011 Optical 479 km–495 km, 97.3° 37875 2011-066B CAST TSLC Long March 4B Operational
Yaogan 13 JB-7-2 30 November 2011 SAR 502 km–504 km, 97.4° 37941 2011-072A SAST TSLC Long March 2C Operational
Yaogan 14 JB-11-1 10 May 2012 Optical 471 km–474 km, 97.3° 38257 2012-021A CAST TSLC Long March 4B Operational
Yaogan 15 JB-9-2 29 May 2012 Optical 1198 km–1204 km, 100.2° 38354 2012-029A SAST TSLC Long March 4C Operational
Yaogan 16A JB-8-2A 25 November 2012 ELINT 1085 km–1096 km, 63.4° 39011 2012-066A CAST JSLC Long March 4C Operational
Yaogan 16B JB-8-2B 39012 2012-066B Operational
Yaogan 16C JB-8-2C 39013 2012-066C Operational
Yaogan 17A JB-8-3A 1 September 2013 ELINT 1060 km–1119 km, 3.4° 39239 2013-046A SAST JSLC Long March 4C Operational
Yaogan 17B JB-8-3B 39240 2013-046B Operational
Yaogan 17C JB-8-3C 39241 2013-046C Operational
Yaogan 18 JB-7-3 29 October 2013 SAR 509 km, 97.5° 39363 2013-059A SAST TSLC Long March 2C Decayed
Yaogan 19 JB-9-3 20 November 2013 Optical 1119–1204 km, 100.4° 39410 2013-065A SAST TSLC Long March 4C Operational
Yaogan 20A JB-8-4A 9 August 2014 ELINT 1086–1092 km, 63.4° 40109 2014-047A CAST JSLC Long March 4C Operational
Yaogan 20B JB-8-4B 40110 2014-047B Operational
Yaogan 20C JB-8-4C 40111 2014-047C Operational
Yaogan 21 JB-10-3 8 September 2014 Optical 481–492 km, 97.4° 40143 2014-053A CAST TSLC Long March 4B Operational
Yaogan 22 JB-9-4 20 October 2014 Optical 1198–1207 km, 100.3° 40275 2014-063A SAST TSLC Long March 4C Operational
Yaogan 23 JB-7-4 14 November 2014 SAR 510–514 km, 97.3° 40305 014-071A SAST TSLC Long March 2C Operational
Yaogan 24 JB 6-5 20 November 2014 Optical 629–654 km, 97.9° 40310 2014-072A CAST JSLC Long March 2D Operational
Yaogan 25A JB-8-5A 10 December 2014 ELINT 1091 km–1098 km, 63.4°s 40338 2014-080A CAST JSLC Long March 4C Operational
Yaogan 25B JB-8-5B 40339 2014-080B Operational
Yaogan 25C JB-8-5C 40340 2014-080C Operational
Yaogan 26 JB-12-1 27 December 2014 Optical 482 km–488 km, 97.4° 40362 2014-088A CAST TSLC Long March 4B Operational
Yaogan 27 JB-9-5 27 August 2015 Optical 1201 km–1214 km, 100.4° 40878 2015-040A SAST TSLC Long March 4C Operational
Yaogan 28 JB-11-2 8 November 2015 Optical 476 km–490 km, 97.3° 41026 2015-064A CAST TSLC Long March 4B Operational
Yaogan 29 JB-?-1 26 November 2015 SAR 635 km–636 km, 97.9° 41038 2015-069A SAST TSLC Long March 4C Operational
Yaogan 30 JB-6-6 15 May 2016 Optical 634 km–664 km, 98.0° 41473 2016-029A CAST JSLC Long March 2D Operational
Yaogan 30-1A CX-5 29 September 2017 ELINT 602 km–611 km, 35.0° 42945 2017-058A CAST XSLC Long March 2C Operational
Yaogan 30-1B CX-5 42946 2017-058B Operational
Yaogan 30-1C CX-5 42947 2017-058C Operational
Yaogan 30-2A CX-5 24 November 2017 ELINT 603 km–610 km, 35.0° 43028 2017-075A CAST XSLC Long March 2D Operational
Yaogan 30-2B CX-5 43029 2017-075B Operational
Yaogan 30-2C CX-5 43030 2017-075C Operational
Yaogan 30-3A CX-5 25 December 2017 ELINT 602 km–610 km, 35.0° 43081 2017-085A CAST XSLC Long March 2C Operational
Yaogan 30-3B CX-5 43082 2017-085B Operational
Yaogan 30-3C CX-5 43083 2017-085C Operational
Yaogan 30-4A CX-5 25 January 2018 ELINT 602 km–610 km, 35.0° 43170 2018-011A CAST XSLC Long March 2C Operational
Yaogan 30-4B CX-5 43171 2018-011B Operational
Yaogan 30-4C CX-5 43172 2018-011C Operational
Yaogan 31A JB-8 6A 10 April 2018 ELINT 1085 km–1110 km, 63.4° 43275 2018-034A CAST JSLC Long March 4C Operational
Yaogan 31B JB-8 6B 43276 2018-034B Operational
Yaogan 31C JB-8 6C 43277 2018-034C Operational
Yaogan 32A Unknown 9 October 2018 Optical 701 km–703 km, 98.2° 43642 2018-077A CAST JSLC Long March 2C/YZ-1S Operational
Yaogan 32B Unknown 43643 2018-077B Operational
Yaogan 33 JB-?-2 23 May 2019 SAR (Launch Failure) Unknown TSLC Long March 4C Failed
Yaogan 30-5A CX-5 25 July 2019 ELINT 602 km–609 km, 35.0° 44449 2019-045A CAST XSLC Long March 2C Operational
Yaogan 30-5B CX-5 44450 2019-045B Operational
Yaogan 30-5C CX-5 44451 2019-045C Operational
Yaogan 30-6A CX-5 24 March 2020 ELINT 602 km–609 km, 35.0° 45460 2020-021A CAST XSLC Long March 2C Operational
Yaogan 30-6B CX-5 45461 2020-021B Operational
Yaogan 30-6C CX-5 45462 2020-021C Operational
Yaogan 30-7A CX-5 26 October 2020 ELINT 595 km–612 km, 35.0° 45807 2020-076A CAST XSLC Long March 2C Operational
Yaogan 30-7B CX-5 45808 2020-076B Operational
Yaogan 30-7C CX-5 45809 2020-076C Operational
Yaogan 33R JB-?-3 27 December 2020 SAR 683 km–686 km, 98.3° 47302 2020-103A CAST JSLC Long March 4C Operational
Yaogan 31D JB-8 6D 29 January 2021 ELINT 1090 km–1098 km, 63.4° 47532 2021-007A CAST JSLC Long March 4C Operational
Yaogan 31E JB-8 6E 47533 2021-007B Operational
Yaogan 31F JB-8 6F 47534 2021-007C Operational
Yaogan 31G JB-8 6G 24 February 2021 ELINT 1090 km–1100 km, 63.4° 47691 2021-014A CAST JSLC Long March 4C Operational
Yaogan 31H JB-8 6H 47692 2021-014B Operational
Yaogan 31J JB-8 6J 47693 2021-014C Operational
Yaogan 31K JB-8 6K 13 March 2021 ELINT 1090 km–1098 km, 63.4° 47855 2021-020B CAST JSLC Long March 4C Operational
Yaogan 31L JB-8 6L 47855 2021-020C Operational
Yaogan 31M JB-8 6M 47857 2021-020D Operational
Yaogan 34 Unknown 30 April 2021 Optical 1083 km–1105 km, 63.4° 48340 2021-037A SAST JSLC Long March 4C Operational
Yaogan 30-8A CX-5 6 May 2021 ELINT 591 km–602 km, 35.0° 48423 2021-039A CAST XSLC Long March 2C Operational
Yaogan 30-8B CX-5 48424 2021-039B Operational
Yaogan 30-8C CX-5 48425 2021-039C Operational
Yaogan 30-9A CX-5 18 June 2021 ELINT 591 km–602 km, 35.0° 48860 2021-055A CAST XSLC Long March 2C Operational
Yaogan 30-9B CX-5 48861 2021-055B Operational
Yaogan 30-9C CX-5 48863 2021-055D Operational
Yaogan 30-10A CX-5 19 July 2021 ELINT 591 km–602 km, 35.0° 49026 2021-065A CAST XSLC Long March 2C Operational
Yaogan 30-10B CX-5 49027 2021-065B Operational
Yaogan 30-10C CX-5 49028 2021-065C Operational
Yaogan 32-2A Unknown 3 November 2021 SIGINT 689 km × 704 km, 98.27° 49383 2021-099A Unknown JSLC Long March 2C/YZ-1S Operational
Yaogan 32-2B Unknown 49384 2021-099B Operational
Yaogan 35A Unknown 6 November 2021 Unknown Unknown 49389 2021-101A SAST XSLC Long March 2D Operational
Yaogan 35B Unknown 49390 2021-101B Operational
Yaogan 35C Unknown 49391 2021-101C Operational
Yaogan 34-2 Unknown 17 March 2022 Optical 1083 km × 1105 km, 63.38° 52084 2022-027A SAST JSLC Long March 4C Operational
Table data sourced from previously cited references, "CalSky". calsky.com. CalSky. Retrieved 9 November 2016. and "Real Time Satellite Tracking". n2yo.com. N2YO. Retrieved 9 November 2016."Yaogan 30-01, ..., 30-07 (CX 5)". Gunter's Space Page. 30 May 2020. Retrieved 14 October 2020.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Barbosa, Rui C. (22 April 2009). "Chinese launch again with YaoGan Weixing-6 remote sensing satellite". nasaspaceflight.com. NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved 23 April 2009.
  2. ^ "2006年4月27日 "遥感卫星一号"成功发射". www.xinhuanet.com. Xinhuanet. 27 April 2006. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  3. ^ "China Launches Yaogan-4 Satellite". Asian Surveying and Mapping magazine. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 24 April 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d Cliff, Roger (2011). Ready for takeoff : China's advancing aerospace industry. Chad J. R. Ohlandt, David Yang, U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Rand Corporation. National Security Research Division. Santa Monica, CA: Rand National Security Research Division. ISBN 978-0-8330-5208-7. OCLC 727359166.
  5. ^ Krebs, Gunter (11 December 2017). "Yaogan 1, 3, 10 (JB-5 1, 2, 3)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  6. ^ "Yaogan 1 Erupts". Arms Control Wonk. 11 February 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2010.
  7. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter. "Yaogan 29, 33, 33R". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 18 May 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Krebs, Gunter (14 September 2020). "Yaogan 2, 4, 7, 11, 24, 30 (JB-6 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  9. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Yaogan 8, 15, 19, 22, 27 (JB-9 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 18 May 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Yaogan 8, 15, 19, 22, 27 (JB-9 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)". Gunter's Space Page.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter (21 July 2019). "Yaogan 5, 12, 21 (JB-10 1, 2, 3)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 20 May 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter (21 July 2019). "Yaogan 14, 28 (JB-11 1, 2)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 20 May 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ Krebs, Gunter (21 July 2019). "Yaogan 26 (JB-12 1)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  14. ^ "JB-8". Astronautix.
  15. ^ "Yaogan 9, 16, 17, 20, 25, 31 (JB-8 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)". Gunter's Space Page. 24 March 2021. Retrieved 17 May 2022.