China is expected to launch a satellite later this year to gather electromagnetic data, according to the Hindustan Times infosite.
This satellite may be used in monitoring and forecasting earthquakes and is the nation's first, space-based platform for monitoring tremors. According to China’s earthquake administrative agencies, the satellite will be launched in the latter half of this year.
Movements of the Earth’s crust generate electromagnetic radiation and this phenomenon can be observed from space. By collecting data on the Earth’s electromagnetic field, ionosphere plasma and high-energy particles, the satellite will be used in real-time monitoring of earthquakes and possible seismic precursors in China and neighboring regions. The satellite will be China’s first space-based platform for earthquake monitoring, providing a new approach for research, state-run Xinhua news agency reported .
According to Shen Xuhui, deputy chief of the mission, the satellite is designed to remain in orbit for five years and record the electromagnetic situation of earthquakes above 6 magnitude in China and quakes above 7 magnitude all over the world. Scientists are expecting to find common factors that may be used to develop earthquake forecasting technology, Shen said. The satellite may also serve aerospace and navigation communication purposes, the report said.