The successful launch of the Cheonrian 2B, an environmental and marine observation satellite developed by Korea's own technology in the morning of Feb. 19 (Korean Standard Time) is expected to further solidify Korea's position as a geostationary satellite powerhouse with three geostationary satellites.
In particular, the Cheonrian 2B is the world's first geostationary orbital satellite that observes changes in the atmosphere and the marine environment, giving Korea an advantage in the field.
The Ministry of Science and ICT, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries announced, "The satellite successfully lifted off on the Arian-5 projectile at the Guiana Space Center in South America at 7:18 am on Feb. 19 (Korean Standard Time)."
The Cheonrian 2B was separated from the projectile at an altitude of 1,630 km, 31 minutes after its launch. The man-made moon made the first contact with the Yasaraga Ground Station in Australia six minutes later.
The Cheonrian 2B will approach a stationary orbit with an altitude of 36,000 km from the initial elliptical transition orbit by changing transition orbits five times over the next two weeks.
After safely sitting on the orbit, the satellite will undergo tests on the orbit for several months to ensure more accurate atmospheric and ocean observations. It will also implement performance optimization for environmental and marine payloads on it. In addition, SW adjustment process will be performed to produce the final accurate output by applying exclusive software developed to observe the atmospheric and marine environments.
If these processes are normally completed, the satellite will deliver air environment information beginning in 2021 and marine information beginning this October. Unlike low-orbit satellites that briefly pass over the Korean Peninsula, the Cheonrian 2B will observes the concentration of 20 types of fine dust-causing substances over the Korean Peninsula on the stationary orbit eight times a day.
In addition, the marine payload which has four times the resolution of the Cheonrian 1 produces 26 kinds of information 10 times a day. Accordingly, it will be possible to monitor the movement of pollutants such as red tides, green algae, oil spills, marine debris among others which causes great damage to the Korean marine environment.