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Part of Phoenix Eye
ZY Satellite Bus as used for CBERS
Chinese earth land resources satellite. 6 launches, 1999.10.14 (ZY-1) to 2007.09.19 (ZY-2C). From 1985 China and Brazil jointly developed a sun synchronous imaging satellite bus, the Zi Yuan-1 (Resouce-1) based on the Shi Jian 3 design.

AKA: CBERS;China Brazil Earth Resource Satellite;Zi Yuan. Status: Operational 1999. Gross mass: 1,450 kg (3,190 lb). Height: 3.30 m (10.80 ft). Span: 8.30 m (27.20 ft).

The joint project was externally referred to as CBERS (China Brazil Earth Resource Satellite) with China contributing 70% of the program cost.

Originally launches were planned for 1996 and 1999 but there was a three year delay. The spacecraft had overall dimensions of 2 m by 3.3 m by 8.3 m with a 1.1 kW capacity, single solar array and was to operate in an 800-km sun-synchronous orbit with a 26-day repeating ground track pattern.

The Earth observation payload included three primary sensors (the first two of Chinese origin):

Zi Yuan-1 also carried a Data Collection System and a Space Environment Monitor. The China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite was jointly built by CAST/Beijing and INPE/Brazil. The spacecraft was controlled from both Chinese and Brazilian ground stations. CBERS-2 was under construction at the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE), and was originally to be launched in October 2001.

China and Brazil signed an agreement in September 2000 to develop two second-generation China-Brazil Earth Remote Sensing satellites (CBERS-3 and -4). The satellites were to include a significant improvement in the imaging resolution of the High Resolution CCD Camera (resolution of 5 meters vs. CBERS-1's 20 meters). The two countries would also study joint development of geostationary meteorological satellites and a telecommunications satellites based on the CBERS bus.

The sun-synchronous orbital bus developed for CBERS and the CBERS-3 imager may have been used for the military ZY-2 satellite, which was placed in a lower orbit for higher resolution imaging. The ZY-2 reportedly had over three times the resolution of the ZY-1.

Family: Earth, Earth land resource sat, Sun synchronous orbit. Country: China. Launch Vehicles: Chang Zheng 4B. Launch Sites: Taiyuan, Taiyuan LC1. Agency: INPE, CAST, INP. Bibliography: 119, 2, 4, 424, 532, 533, 552, 554.
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Credit: © Mark Wade

ZY 3ZY 3
Credit: Manufacturer Image

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