China on 8 October 2014 announced that it will launch a new constellation of marine surveillance satellites by 2019.
The satellites will monitor ships, oil rigs and marine disasters. It aimed to amidst a string of raging maritime disputes with its neighbours.
Features of the satellite
The HY-3 constellation will include a series of satellites that employ synthetic aperture radar technology. The technology will be capable of operating day or night and in all weather conditions.
The satellites will be able to see and monitor meter-long objects from space and generate high-definition imagery of both land and ocean surfaces.
The satellites would be used to monitor ships and drilling platforms, in addition to marine oil spills, sea ice, ocean waves and surface winds among other features.
Maritime dispute in South China Sea
China is grappling to deal with maritime disputes in South and East China seas involving a host of countries.
While Vietnam, Phlippines, Malaysia and Brunei are contesting China's claim over all of South China Sea, it is also involved in a major maritime row in East China Sea with Japan over the disputed islands.
China also completed a runway for military aircrafts on a disputed South China Sea island claimed by Vietnam.
Moreover, China also announced plans to build an earth observation system that integrates use of air, space and ground based technology, including drones, satellites and GPS systems in the next ten years.
When: 8 October 2014