China establishes space-ground integrated space tracking and control network
The reporters learned from a master design and research institute under the General Armaments Department (GAD) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) that after 50 years of development, China had established a space-ground integrated multi-functional space tracking and control network, which could not only satisfy the demand of manned space tacking and control task but also provide tracking and control support for 20-odd satellites simultaneously.
The space tracking and control technology is an important symbol to measure the spaceflight level of a country. In 1970, China established the low orbit satellite observation network which played a vital role in the successful launching of the “Dongfanghong I” satellite. Over the past 50 years, China built 13 ground tracking and control stations, 4 ocean-going survey ships and 1 space-based tracking and control system, forming the largest and latest space tracking and control network with highest reliability in the history of China’s space activities.
Marked by the establishment of the “Yuanwang” fleet, China realized a historical leap from the ground to ocean in space tracking and control activities. In 1978, China built an ocean-going survey fleet of 12 ships, including the ocean-going survey ships and the ocean-going research vessels. In the new century, in order to meet the demand of the high-intensity launching for maritime tracking and control, China built the “Yuanwang V” and “Yuanwang VI” survey ships and the two ships set out to sea simultaneously to accomplish the space tracking and control task of China’s manned spacecraft “Shenzhou VII”.
Marked by the application of the “Beidou” satellite navigation system and the space-based tracking and control system, China realized a historical leap from ground-base to space-base in space tracking and control. In 2000, the navigation system of China’s “Beidou I” satellite entered into the stage of launching and networking. In 2008, China successfully launched the relay satellite and put it into service, indicating the formation of the space-based tracking and control and communication system and greatly improving the coverage and the information transmission capability of the tracking and control and communication system.
Marked by the successful operation of the “Chang’e I” satellite, China realized a historical leap from the near-ground tracking and control to deep-space tracking and control. The scientific and technical personnel successfully tackled the key problems in orbit determination of the exploring project around the moon, realized the 400,000-km long-distance tracking and control and made a new breakthrough in deep-space tracking and control technology, making the tracking and control coverage of the “Chang’e I” satellite reach 98% and above.
China Military Online English Edition