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National Satellite Meteorological Center

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has the largest meteorological service in the world and has been actively involved in space activities since the seventies. The National Satellite Meteorological Center (NSMC) was founded on July 1, 1971. It is a scientific research and operational facility affiliated to the China Meteorological Administration.

Following the instruction of the former Premier Zhou Enlai, "We should try our best to develop our own meteorological satellites, and also use data from foreign satellites", NSMC started receiving and utilizing foreign satellite data and has been coordinating actively with the Ministry of Aerospace to develop China's meteorological satellites. On Sept. 7, 1988 and Sept. 3, 1990, two polar orbiting meteorological satellites named FY-1A and FY-B were successfully launched. The first experimental geostationary meteorological satellite FY-2A was successfully launched on June 10, 1997.

NSMC carries out activities of theoretical and experimental researches on radiation transmission in the atmosphere, the algorithm for meteorological satellite data processing as well as the application of meteorological satellite data. These researches have in turn supported the development of NSMC, promoted the meteorological satellite data application in China and also the international cooperation. The main functions of NSMC include:

NSMC has facilities of satellite meteorology research, system design, computer system, satellite, operation control, and operational and service system support. The three ground stations of Beijing, Guangzhou, Urumqi are also under the supervision of NSMC. The ground system consisted of three receiving stations and a data processing center has fulfilled the tasks of data receiving and processing. By using the ground system, NSMC receives and processes meteorological satellite data from both Chinese and foreign satellites. These data have played an important role in the fields of weather forecasting, natural disaster monitoring and national economy. To help weather stations and various users to receive and use the meteorological satellite data directly, the NSMC is engaged in the researches of satellite data receiving and communication techniques and manufacture of both hardware and software for various meteorological satellite data applications systems.

Meteorological satellite operators coordinate their activities on a global scale through participation in the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS) which meets once a year. The China Meteorological Administration has participated in the CGMS since 1989. Other members include Japan, Russia, the USA and EUMETSAT. The World Meteorological Organization is also a member, representing the key user community.

Sources and Resources


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