FSW-1 (Jianbing 1A)
FSW-1 (a.k.a. Jianbing 1A in its military designation) was the second-generation recoverable remote-sensing satellite designed for photogrammetry roles. The satellite carried a scanning-type large format panorama camera to obtain more precise images of ground targets. The camera was said to have a resolution comparable to (slightly lower) that of the Large Format Camera (LFC) carried onboard the NASA Space Shuttle in the 1980s.
The concept development of the FSW-1 satellite began in July 1979 under the leadership of Wang Xi-ji. In November of the same year, the Central Military Commission (CMC) approved the proposal by the PLA General Staff Department (GSD) and the Commission of Science and Technology for National Defence (CSTND) to develop the photogrammetric satellite. The development task was assigned to CAST on 22 April 1980. The design concept passed the evaluation in 1981. The prototype development began in December 1982.
In 1983, the Ministry of Astronautics issued the FSW-1 design requirement. Min Gui-rong was appointed the chief designer and Wang He-zhong the chief director. The construction of the flying example of the satellite began in January 1986. The role of the chief designer was taken over by Lin Hua-bao in December 1989.
FSW-1 was near identical to FSW-0 in external profile and space frame, but featured a number of improvements in its onboard systems. The flight control featured a computerised three-axis stabilisation system for simplified maintenance and higher orbital accuracy. A new uplink channel with doubled data transmission capacity allows the onboard camera to be switched on and off according to the weather condition during the flight to avoid film wastage. The satellite was also equipped with improved telemetry and tracking system to make it easier for ground tracking.
The FSW-1 was equipped with a large format panorama camera, which replaced the prism-type panorama camera onboard the FSW-0. Compared with the latter, the large format panorama camera eliminated the distortion in the images, allowing the images to be used for mapping and photogrammetry purposes. The celestial guidance camera was also improved with the ability to capture apparent magnitude 7 stars from the Low Earth Orbit.
Between 1987 and 1993, a total of five FSW-1 satellites were launched, four of which were recovered successfully. The fifth satellite (FSW-1-5) launched on 8 October 1993 did not enter the re-entry trajectory due to an altitude control system failure. Instead, the satellite entered a highly elliptical orbit (179km X 3,031km) and stayed there for two and a half years. The satellite de-orbited on 12 March 1996 as a result of natural decay and landed in the Pacific Ocean.
As well as obtaining Earth images, the FSW-1 satellites also carried 150~180kg secondary mission payloads for scientific research and technological demonstration. FSW-1-1 carried 30 pieces of seed and microscopic organism experiment kits designed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). FSW-1-2 carried a protein growth and microgravity measurement package designed by West Germany, and a semiconductor single crystal growth package and microbiology packages designed by CAS. FSW-1-3 carried laboratory rats, microscopic organisms, animal cells, insect eggs and algae for scientific studies. FSW-1-4 carried a semiconductor single crystal growth package and tomato seeds.
Last updated: 9 May 2012