Unforgettable years

Unforgettable years

2019/05/16 22:28
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"I remember very clearly that on May 10, 1999, at 9:30 a.m., our FY-1C was carried to the sky by the CZ-4B Launch vehicle." Twenty years later, when Academician Meng Zhizhong mentioned FY-1C, he was familiar with it as if it had happened yesterday.

FY-1C is the first transmission-type three-axis stabilized solar synchronous orbit remote sensing satellite independently developed in China. As a milestone in the field of meteorological satellite application, FY-1C satellite is the first satellite in China to be listed in the world meteorological business. Its successful launch, as one of the three major events in China at the end of the 20th century, has been engraved in the China Millennium Monument. Before making great achievements, Academician Meng Zhizhong led the team of FY-1C working despite of wind and rain for many years.

▲Lighting experiment of FY-1 satellite

"At the beginning, the conditions were tough. There were more than 600 people in the institute, but only 2 million yuan was spent on scientific research every year. Not only that, the scientific research environment at that time was also very simple, without previous design experience, researchers had to explore and study by themselves, without proper experimental equipment, they had to design and assemble by themselves.

In the face of technologies such as expanded solar cell array, momentum wheel plus magnetron attitude control, remanence design and CPL thermal control, which were adopted for the first time, everything was started from scratch. For example, the technology of expanded solar array was the first in China at that time, and there was no previous experience. In order to simulate the development of weightlessness in space, how to design experiments was the biggest bottleneck. In order to solve this problem, the team searched for information and literature, and finally got inspiration in an insignificant science and technology magazine. Through self-design, assembly and long-term experiments, the first domestic air-bearing platform was successfully developed, which effectively overcome the problem of deployable solar array. For the entire development team, this is of great significance.

Recalling the scene of the launch, Meng Zhizhong still couldn't hide his excitement: "How can we not be nervous, no matter how well prepared, in the period before the launch, the mood is always surging. Even if the launch is successful, in fact, the heart has always been unsettled, because the satellite will face a very harsh space environment, the orbital test is also very severe. Years of experience in satellite development have made academician Meng always maintain a modest and prudent heart, and always make the greatest efforts to ensure the successful launch and operation of the satellite.

▲Acceptance and Delivery Ceremony of FY-1C Star Project

FY-1C can achieve stable operation in orbit for up to 7 years, overdue service for 5 years, reaching the leading domestic level. All of these are inseparable from strict quality management and reliability design in the process of satellite development. In order to ensure the long life and high reliability of satellites in orbit, Meng urged all researchers to formulate strict reliability and quality regulations and establish a comprehensive safeguard system. At the same time, At the same time, researchers can not let go of any quality problems and must ensure that the problems are thoroughly solved and hidden dangers are thoroughly eliminated before entering the next step. Through a series of measures, the satellite's on-orbit use has been ensured, and the integrated detection and application of meteorology, ocean and space environment has been realized for the first time in China, which embodies the important value.

▲In May 1999, the first cloud picture of FY-1C

From polar orbit meteorological satellite Fengyun-1 to Fengyun-3, geostationary meteorological satellite FY-2 to FY-4 China's meteorological satellite industry has gone through more than 40 years of development. It has realized the leap of China's meteorological satellite industry from scratch, from small to large, from weak to strong, and created the development system of remote sensing satellites with Chinese characteristics, promoted the leap-forward development of the basic industries related to quantitative remote sensing in China. Nowadays, FY Satellite has become an important member of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) observation network. It is the most widely used and most effective satellite series in China. It is praised as an example of remote sensing satellite operation service and a model of satellite operation service.

Standing at this new starting point, Meng Zhizhong smiled with relief, "The future belongs to you."


Author: Zhou Yingqing, Gu Yu

SourceShanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology