Sticking to an innovation-driven strategy, Northeast China’s Jilin province has made breakthroughs in manufacturing of rail transit equipment, commercial remote sensing satellites and precise instruments, in an effort to put itself among the top performers in China and in the world.
The province has also set up laboratories and innovation centers to nurture a group of companies in the fields of big data, cloud computing, pharmaceuticals, bio-medicine and modern agriculture to fuel growth and generate new economic engines.
Chang Guang Satellite, founded in 2014 in Changchun, the capital city of Jilin, independently developed the Jilin 1 satellite. Jilin 1 is the country’s first commercial high-definition remote-sensing satellite, and was launched into the space in October 2015.
On June 5, 2019, the Jilin 1 03A satellite was sent into space. The newly launched commercial satellite, with a ground resolution of more than 1.1 meters, sent back high-definition images by the next day, demonstrating a stable working status. Thirteen satellites in the Jilin 1 family are now in orbit.
“We have made three big leaps in satellite development technologies,” said Jia Hongguang, deputy general manager of the company.
The resolution of the satellites has been improved from the first batch’s 0.72 m to the second batch’s 1 m and to the latest more than 1.1 m, Jia said. Meanwhile, the weight of the satellite continues to drop. The first batch weighed 420 kilograms each, the second batch was 208 kg each and the latest weighs only 40 kg, one of the lightest in the world with equivalent technical indicators.
Jilin 1 family satellites have been used for remote sensing more than 20,000 times by governments, research institutes, universities and industrial users since 2015, according to the Jilin government.
More importantly, the company has nurtured more than 100 suppliers, propping up the industries of optical manufacturing, precise processing, electronic information and new materials in Jilin, said Zhang Xiaoxu, director of equipment and industry office at Jilin Industry and Information Technology Department.
“The core components of the satellites, including the complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor image sensor, flywheel and carbon fiber structural parts, can be supplied by companies in Jilin,” Zhang said.