Jiading satellite prepares to launch

Jiading’s first commercial micro satellite will be launched into space in June next year.

Jiading’s first commercial micro satellite will be launched into space in June next year.

The OKW-01 satellite will be sent to a sun-synchronous orbit 700 kilometers from Earth. In the future, it will be a part of a group of satellites working in concert.

Designed and developed by Shanghai OKW Aerospace Technology Co Ltd, a company based in Nanxiang Town in Jiading, about 90 percent of the technologies applied in the satellite have also been developed by the company.

OKW-01 is said to have advantages over larger satellites such as those used by the Beidou system. Compared to the Beidou satellites, which are 36,000 kilometers from Earth, OKW-01 is orbiting at a much higher speed which makes it capable of serving a wider area.

As telematics becomes more mature in Jiading, the OKW-01 will be widely used and have a role to play in more areas. For example, the emergency rescue system can adopt both the OKW-01 satellite network and terrestrial cellular network to ensure the seamless communications coverage.

The satellite can also help trace endangered birds with trackers even when the birds fly deep into mountains and forests which can’t be covered by the terrestrial network.

According to Wang Yang, OKW’s CEO, micro satellites greatly save costs in launching and production. “It can become part of the life of common citizens,” said Wang.

Many of the core members of the OKW are former technicians from Chinese Academy of Sciences and China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. Over 40 percent of the employees have master’s and doctor’s degrees from universities at home and abroad.

Seeing a bright future for micro satellites for civil use, many of them quit their jobs at state-owned institutes to join the Jiading-based company.

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