Science & Technology

Chinese-Russian space weather monitoring center becomes operational

Beijing, Nov 18 (EFE).- A joint space weather center set up by China and Russia has become operational to give meteorological information and predictions to global aviation operators.

The state-run China Daily reported that the space weather center began operating on Tuesday.

The fourth of its kind facility monitors space weather events, including solar activities, and releases advisories for aviation operators, said Zhang Xiaoxin, director of the space weather department of the National Satellite Meteorological Center.

“Space weather can affect aviation flight safety, aviation communication, positioning and the effectiveness of avionics,” China Daily quoted Zhang as saying.

Solar activities, including solar flares, disrupt flight operations as such phenomena can alter the Earth’s magnetic field and ionosphere.

“Unfavorable weather can result in radiation more than 10 times the amount flight passengers and staff members would receive on Earth and affect their health,” Zhang said.

The United Nations civil aviation agency approved the project last year.

Previously, three such centers were launched by the United States, a European consortium, and a conglomerate of Australia, Canada, France, and Japan.

The new facility is jointly operated by the China Meteorological Administration, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, and their counterparts in Russia, with offices in Beijing and Moscow.

In China, the CMA monitors and forecasts space weather and researches related technologies, using a combination of satellites and ground-tracking networks.

In September, China’s Fengyun 3E weather satellite captured its first test pictures of the sun, offering improved assistance in predicting solar activities and their impact on Earth and space weather, China Daily added.

Fengyun-3E took off on July 5 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in north China.

It is a satellite for civilian use to monitor climate, oceans, and space weather. EFE


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