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FY-3 Series Satellites

FengYun-3, or FY-3 satellites, are China's second generation polar-orbiting meteorological satellites, with substantively enhanced functionalities and technical capabilities. They are designed to enhance China's three dimensional atmospheric sounding capability and global data acquisition capability, in an effort to collect more cloud and surface characteristics data, from which meteorologists may infer out atmospheric, land surface and sea surface parameters that are global, all-weather, three-dimensional, quantitative, and multi-spectral. FY-3 meteorological satellites have their applications mainly in the following four aspects:

1) Provide global meteorological parameters with a balanced resolution to numerical weather prediction;

2) Provide diverse meteorological and geophysical parameters to global change studies, including climate variation studies, and to climate projections;

3) Monitor large-scale natural disasters and surface ecological environment;

4) Provide weather information on any part of the world for specialized activities, including aviation, marine activities among others, and provide meteorological support for national defense.

FY-3 satellites are developed and manufactured in two groups. FY-3A and FY-3B in the first group were launched on May 17, 2008 and November 5, 2010, respectively. With a further enhanced remote sensing capability, the second group of FY-3 satellites will be launched after 2013, with a life expectancy for 15 years.

Observing instruments aboard FY-3

• Visible and Infra Red Radiometer (VIRR) on FY-3A, FY-3B and FY-3C, 10-channel VIS/IR multi-purpose imaging radiometer, with a spectral range from 0.43μm to 12.5μm, and a nadir resolution of 1.1km;

• Medium Resolution Spectral Imager-1 (MERSI-1) on FY-3A and FY-3B, with a 20-channel radiometer (19 visible/shortwave channels and 1 thermal infrared channel), for collecting sea color and vegetation index. 4 of the channels are set for 250m-resolution, with others for 1km;

• Medium Resolution Spectral Imager-2 (MERSI-2) on FY-3C, FY-3D, FY-3E, FY-3F, and FY-3G, an integration of VIRR and MERSI-1's channels;

• Infra Red Atmospheric Sounder (IRAS) on FY-3A, FY-3B, and FY-3C, with 26 channels, including a visible channel, from 0.69μm to 15.0μm. The ground surface resolution is set at 17km;

• Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (ASI) on FY-3D, FY-3E, FY-3F, and FY-3G, a replacement of IRAS' spectrometer. It provides high-precision atmospheric temperature and humidity profiles. It also measures ozone, methane, carbon dioxide and other trace gases when needed;

• Micro-Wave Temperature Sounder-1 (MWTS-1) on FY-3A and FY-3B. It is a 4-channel microwave radiometer for all-weather temperature probes with a cross-track scanning capability. The resolution is set at 70km and the frame width at 2,200km;

• Micro-Wave Temperature Sounder - 2 (MWTS-2) on FY-3C, FY-3D, FY-3E, FY-3F, and FY-3G, a replacement of MWTS-1, with a performance closer to AMSU-A;

• Micro-Wave Humidity Sounder-1 (MWHS-1) on FY-3A and FY-3B, designed with 4 frequencies and 5 channels for all-weather humidity probe. The 183GHz channels are set at a resolution of 15km, cross-track scanning enabled with a frame width of 2,700km;

• Micro-Wave Humidity Sounder-2 (MWHS-2) on FY-3C, FY-3D, FY-3E, FY-3F, and FY-3G, a replacement of MWHS-1;

• Micro-Wave Radiation Imager (MWRI) on FY-3A, FY-3B, FY-3C, FY-3D, and FY-3F, designed with 5 frequencies and 10 channels. The conical scanning radiometer can be set at a resolution of 9 x 15 km (90 GHz) or 30 x 50 km (19 GHz), with a frame width of 1,400 km;

• Wind Radar (WindRAD) on FY-3E and FY-3G, for measuring sea surface wind, a replacement of MWRI;

• Backscatter Ultraviolet Sounder (SBUS) on FY-3A, FY-3B, and FY-3C, an integration of two spectral radiometers for profile sounding, with a TOU ranging from 252mm to 340nm, 12 channels, nadir observing mode, and 200km resolution;

• Total Ozone Unit (TOU) on FY-3A, FY-3B, and FY-3C, for total ozone probe, covering a spectral range from 208nm to 360nm, 6-channels, 50km resolution, and a frame width at 200km;

• Greenhouse gases Monitoring Instrument (GAMI) on FY-3D and FY-3F, a wide-band spectral radiometer to be the replacement of TOU/SBUS, undetermined;

• Ozone Monitoring Suite (OMS) on FY-3E and FY-3G, a replacement of TOU/SBUS;

• Earth Radiation Measurement -1 (ERM-1) on FY-3A, FY-3B, and FY-3C, with 2 wide spectral band channels for Earth radiation budget measurement. It is designed with two components, with one equipped with a scanning mechanism ( 28km resolution and 2300km frame width), and the other without (a 120-degree viewing angle that covers an area of 2,200km);

• Earth Radiation Measurement -2 (ERM-2) on FY-3E and FY-3G, an upgraded version of ERM-1, with undetermined features;

• Solar Irradiance Monitor -1 (SIM-1) on FY-3A and FY-3B, for solar observation when the satellite pointing to the Sun over the polar regions, with 3 channels for radiation measurement, and a bandwidth of 0.2-50μm;

• Solar Irradiance Monitor -2 (SIM-2) on FY-3C, FY-3E, and FY-3G, an upgraded version of SIM-1;

• GNSS Occultation Sounder (GNOS) on FY-3D, FY-3E, FY-3F and FY-3G for radio occultation detection;

• Space Environment Monitoring (SEM) on FY-3A and FY-3B, made up of the following components; and

• Space Environment Suite (SES) on FY-3C, FY-3D, FY-3E, FY-3F and FY-3G, an improved version of SEM, consisting of

- SEM (Space Environment Monitoring)
- WAI (Wide-field Auroral Imager)
- IPM (Ionospheric PhotoMeter)