Photo: Model of Hongyun mini-satellite system in an exhibition
China Aerospace Science & Industry Corporation (CASIC) has planned for a network of 156 low orbiting mini-satellites to facilitate global broadband coverage.
The satellites will orbit at 1,000 km above the ground, developed by China amid its wider push for commercial space development.
Those small satellites are easier for mass production and have lower cost for future upgrade. Low orbit helps avoid signal delay, and the satellite communication services with frequencies from 26.5 to 40 hertz will be able to improve Internet access.
This project plans to form an initial constellation of five satellites by 2020. By the end of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025), all the 156 satellites will be in operation.
The Hongyun Project, which focuses on communication, remote sensing and navigation, can offer communication and Internet services with reduced latency for China and other countries. The satellites will also facilitate Internet access and communication for airplanes and ocean-going ships. It can also be used for emergency communication, sensor data collection and remote control of unmanned equipment, according to CASIC.
Hongyun is running in parallel with CASIC’s Xingyun project, which deploys another 80 satellites for space-based Internet services for IoT.