Encyclopedia Astronautica
ZY



cbers.jpg
ZY / CBERS
ZY Satellite Bus as used for CBERS
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CBERS
Credit: © Mark Wade
Chinese earth land resources satellite. 6 launches, 1999.10.14 (ZY-1) to 2007.09.19 (ZY-2C). From 1985 China and Brazil jointly developed a sun synchronous imaging satellite bus, the Zi Yuan-1 (Resouce-1) based on the Shi Jian 3 design.

The joint project was externally referred to as CBERS (China Brazil Earth Resource Satellite) with China contributing 70% of the program cost.

Originally launches were planned for 1996 and 1999 but there was a three year delay. The spacecraft had overall dimensions of 2 m by 3.3 m by 8.3 m with a 1.1 kW capacity, single solar array and was to operate in an 800-km sun-synchronous orbit with a 26-day repeating ground track pattern.

The Earth observation payload included three primary sensors (the first two of Chinese origin):

  • CCD Camera: Five bands (0.51-0.73 micrometer, 0.45-0.52 micrometer, 0.52-0.59 micrometer, 0.63-0.69 micrometer, and 0.77-0.89 micrometer); 20-m resolution; 113 km swath
  • IR Multi-Spectral Scanner: Four bands (0.50-1.10 micrometer, 1.55-1.75 micrometer, 2.08-2.35 micrometer, and 10.40-12.50 micrometer); 80-160-m resolution; 120-km swath
  • Wide-Field Imager: Two bands (0.63-0.69 micrometer and 0.76-0.90 micrometer); 260-m resolution; 900-km swath.

Zi Yuan-1 also carried a Data Collection System and a Space Environment Monitor. The China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite was jointly built by CAST/Beijing and INPE/Brazil. The spacecraft was controlled from both Chinese and Brazilian ground stations. CBERS-2 was under construction at the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE), and was originally to be launched in October 2001.

China and Brazil signed an agreement in September 2000 to develop two second-generation China-Brazil Earth Remote Sensing satellites (CBERS-3 and -4). The satellites were to include a significant improvement in the imaging resolution of the High Resolution CCD Camera (resolution of 5 meters vs. CBERS-1's 20 meters). The two countries would also study joint development of geostationary meteorological satellites and a telecommunications satellites based on the CBERS bus.

The sun-synchronous orbital bus developed for CBERS and the CBERS-3 imager may have been used for the military ZY-2 satellite, which was placed in a lower orbit for higher resolution imaging. The ZY-2 reportedly had over three times the resolution of the ZY-1.

AKA: China Brazil Earth Resource Satellite; CBERS; Zi Yuan.
Gross mass: 1,450 kg (3,190 lb).
Height: 3.30 m (10.80 ft).
Span: 8.30 m (27.20 ft).
First Launch: 1999.10.14.
Last Launch: 2007.09.19.
Number: 6 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • CZ China's first ICBM, the DF-5, first flew in 1971. It was a two-stage storable-propellant rocket in the same class as the American Titan, the Russian R-36, or the European Ariane. The DF-5 spawned a long series of Long March ("Chang Zheng") CZ-2, CZ-3, and CZ-4 launch vehicles. These used cryogenic engines for upper stages and liquid-propellant strap-on motors to create a family of 12 Long-March rocket configurations capable of placing up to 9,200 kg into orbit. In 2000 China began development of a new generation of expendable launch vehicles using non-toxic, high-performance propellants with supposedly lower operating costs. However these encountered development delays, and it seemed the reliable Long March series of rockets would continue in operational use for nearly fifty years before being replaced. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • CZ Chinese orbital launch vehicle. China's first ICBM, the DF-5, first flew in 1971. It was a two-stage storable-propellant rocket in the same class as the American Titan, the Russian R-36, or the European Ariane. The DF-5 spawned a long series of Long March ("Chang Zheng") CZ-2, CZ-3, and CZ-4 launch vehicles. These used cryogenic engines for upper stages and liquid-propellant strap-on motors to create a family of 12 Long-March rocket configurations capable of placing up to 9,200 kg into orbit. In 2000 China began development of a new generation of expendable launch vehicles using non-toxic, high-performance propellants with supposedly lower operating costs. However these encountered development delays, and it seemed the reliable Long March series of rockets would continue in operational use for nearly fifty years before being replaced. More...
  • CZ-4B Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The CZ-4B introduced in 1999 was an improved model of the CZ-4B with an enhanced third stage and fairing. It measured 44.1 metres in length with a first stage thrust of 300 tonnes. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • INPE Brazilian agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espacias, Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil. More...
  • CAST Chinese manufacturer of spacecraft. China Academy of Space Technology, Beijing, China. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Report (Internet Newsletter), Harvard University, Weekly, 1989 to Present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Johnson, Nicholas L; and Rodvold, David M, Europe and Asia in Space 1993-1994, USAF Phillips Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, NM 80907, 1995..
  • Chen Lan, Dragon in Space, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Wen-Rui Hu, Editor, Space Science in China, Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, China, 1997..
  • Gertz, Bill, "Chinese 'civilian' satellite a spy tool", Washington Times, August 1, 2001.
  • NASA/GSFC Orbital Information Group Website, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Space-Launcher.com, Orbital Report News Agency. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Taiyuan China's launch site for launch of polar orbiting satellites, also known as Wuzhai. Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center (TSLC) is situated in Kelan County, the northwest part of Shanxi Province, 280 km by road from Taiyuan City. More...

ZY Chronology


1999 October 14 - . 03:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B-2 (58).
  • ZY-1 - . Payload: Zi Yuan 1. Mass: 1,540 kg (3,390 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Manufacturer: CAST; INP. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: ZY. USAF Sat Cat: 25940 . COSPAR: 1999-057A. Apogee: 780 km (480 mi). Perigee: 773 km (480 mi). Inclination: 98.2000 deg. Period: 100.40 min. China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite. China's first earth resources satellite, known as ZY-1, weighed 1,540 kilograms. Chief designer was Chen Yiyuan. The satellite, a joint project of China and Brazil, was designed to gather information on the environment, agriculture and urban planning through remote sensing images and data transmitted to China, Brazil and other countries. Planned lifetime was two years. The satellite circled the Earth 14 times a day and the groundtrack repeated after 26 days. By 23 February 2000 it had taken more than 20,000 high quality images. It was formally handed over for operational use on March 2 2000. The High Resolution CCD Camera had a resolution of 20 meters in the visible spectrum. The camera could point up to 32 degrees to either side of vertical, imaging the earth's surface stereoscopically. After 177 days the Wide Field Imager failed in early May 2000. Other devices, including the high resolution CCD camera, continue to work normally.

2000 September 1 - . 03:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B-3 (62).
  • ZY-2 - . Payload: Zi Yuan 2. Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Manufacturer: CAST. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: ZY. USAF Sat Cat: 26481 . COSPAR: 2000-050A. Apogee: 501 km (311 mi). Perigee: 489 km (303 mi). Inclination: 97.4000 deg. Period: 94.43 min. The ZY-2 (Ziyuan-2 ('Resource-2'), while disguised as a civilian earth monitoring system, was actually code-named Jianbing-3 and was China's first high-resolution military imaging satellite. The cover story of the official Xinhua news agency was that the civilian remote sensing system would be used primarily in territorial surveying, city planning, crop yield assessment, disaster monitoring and space science experimentation. However the satellite was placed at a much lower altitude than the ZY-1 satellite and US intelligence sources indicated that it was a photo-reconnaissance satellite for exclusively military purposes, such as targeting missiles at US and Taiwanese forces. The new satellite was believed to employ digital-imaging technology and to have a resolution of 2 m or less. The satellite was designed and built by the Chinese Academy of Space Technology and was developed indigenously. It was said to be more advanced than earlier sensing satellites and was expected to have an orbital life of two years. The camera provided more than three times the resolution of the ZY-1 earth resources satellite. The Zi Yuan 2 satellite may have used the CBERS Sino-Brazilian bus of the earlier ZY-1. However it was also said to be of new design and demonstrated the capability to maneuver in orbit, adjusting its orbit after launch. In October 2000 Chinese scientists denied that the ZY-2 satellite had a military mission. It was said to be a remote-sensing satellite equipped with CCD cameras and an infrared multispectral scanner that could only identify objects on the ground with a resolution of several dozen meters to 1 km.

2002 October 27 - . 03:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B-5 (68).
  • ZY-2 - . Payload: Zi Yuan 2-2. Nation: China. Agency: CAST. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: ZY. USAF Sat Cat: 27550 . COSPAR: 2002-049A. Apogee: 483 km (300 mi). Perigee: 470 km (290 mi). Inclination: 97.4000 deg. Period: 94.10 min. JB-3 2 was nominally a Chinese (PRC) remote sensing satellite, although US intelligence sources indicated it had primarily an intelligence imaging mission. JB-3 2 was the name adopted by the USSPACECOM. Most news reports from China and elsewhere use different names: ZY-2B (acronym for ZiYuan-2B, translated as Resource-2B), and Zhong Guo Zi Yuan Er Hao, translated as China Resource 2. No information was available on the instruments onboard the JB-3 2, but officially it was intended 'for territorial survey, environment monitoring and protection, urban planning, crop yield assessment, disaster monitoring, and space scientific experiments'. The initial orbital parameters of this sun-synchronous satellite were period 94.1 min, apogee 483 km, perigee 470 km, and inclination 97.4.

2003 October 21 - . 03:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B-6 (72).
  • ZY-1-2 (CBERS-2) - . Payload: Zi Yuan 1B. Mass: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CAS. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: ZY. USAF Sat Cat: 28057 . COSPAR: 2003-049A. Apogee: 750 km (460 mi). Perigee: 731 km (454 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 99.60 min. Summary: Delayed from late 2001, September 3 2002, March 14 and September 2003. Second China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite (CBERS 2)..

2004 November 6 - . 03:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B-8 (82).
  • ZY-2C - . Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: ZY. USAF Sat Cat: 28470 . COSPAR: 2004-044A. Apogee: 504 km (313 mi). Perigee: 479 km (297 mi). Inclination: 97.3000 deg. Period: 94.40 min. Summary: Zi Yuan 2-3 was a low earth orbit digital imaging spacecraft used by the Chinese government, probably for both civilian and military reconnaissance purposes..

2007 September 19 - . 03:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B (102).
  • CBERS-2B - . Mass: 1,452 kg (3,201 lb). Nation: China; Brazil. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: ZY. USAF Sat Cat: 32062 . COSPAR: 2007-042A. Apogee: 775 km (481 mi). Perigee: 773 km (480 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 100.30 min. Third China-Brazil joint earth resources satellite. Much higher resolution optics and multispectral sensors expected to be useful for some military applications as well. The satellite raised its orbit to its operational altitude of 773 km two days after launch.

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