China is going to launch a constellation consisting of 192 remote sensing satellites by 2021, according to an aerospace forum held in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province on Saturday.
Using artificial intelligence (AI) module, these remote sensing satellites will be equipped with an "intelligent brain system," which will greatly improve their data processing capacity.
The satellites, with multiple resolution sensors, are able to process images independently with AI technology, and filter out those affected by weather to only transmit back useful images and data to the ground.
Entitled "Xingshidai," the AI-armed constellation is under construction by ADASpace, a private Chengdu-based company specialized in commercial satellite operation and remote sensing data service.
The AI system can analyze the images captured by the satellites and its usability, to decide whether to relay back or not, said Wang Long, project manager for the constellation plan, ADASpace.
"Previously, satellite is remotely controlled, not completely 'unmanned.' We hope through our efforts, this constellation can be 'auto-piloted,'" said Wang.
The constellation is scheduled to be completed by 2021, and expected to play an important role in environmental monitoring, disaster prevention and reduction, traffic management and other fields.
China's new commercial rocket, Jielong-1, which will undertake the launch mission of the constellation, is expected to make its maiden flight in the near future. It is able to put satellites of 200 kg into the orbit at an altitude of 500 km.