CUHK ISEIS Allied with ‘Space Silk Road’ to Enhance Global Satellite Service
The Institute of Space and Earth Information Science (ISEIS) of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has recently signed an agreement with an investment company, Dong Fang Teng Fei (DFTF, 北京東方騰飛投資有限公司), for joining an international collaborative programme in space-based satellite technology named the ‘Space Silk Road’ for developing global satellite services. ISEIS will utilize its Satellite Remote Sensing Ground Receiving Station (satellite station) to conduct research on remote sensing applications, particularly on applications in Southern China as well as tropical and sub-tropical environment in Southeast Asia, including monitoring of natural disasters and assessing city environment. The agreement was signed at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, chaired by Academician Xu Guanhua, former Minister of Science and Technology. Prof. Lin Hui, Director of ISEIS and Mr. Zhang Kai, DFTF General Manager signed the agreement in the presence of Dr. Li Zhaoxing, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and senior supervisor of ASAS, Academician Sun Jiadong, the ‘Father of Chinese Satellite’, and several dozen scholars and officers.
Prompted by the national ‘Go Out’ policy for promoting international services of Chinese satellites, a number of leading aerospace enterprises and research institutes including DFTF’s parent company Beijing Xiangzhi, China Great Wall Industry Corporation, and China Satellite Communication Co. Ltd., joined forces to form the International Alliance of Satellite Application Service (ASAS) in August 2014, an open and boundary-spanning civil-society organization. ASAS initiated the ‘Space Silk Road’ programme to coordinate international cooperative researches in space-based satellite technology based on the national ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ strategy.
The satellite station at CUHK was built in 2005, sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of China and the Innovation Technologies Commission (ITC) of the Hong Kong SAR government. It was an exemplary project to develop space technology applications in Hong Kong and to encourage the cooperation between the industries and universities. In the last decade, MOST and ITC have been supporting ISEIS’ remote sensing researches with national ‘863’ Hi-Tech programme and ITF funds, for monitoring ocean and coastal environment, urban ecosystem and ground surface stability, the deformation of large scale man-made linear features, habitat mapping and crops growth condition. ISEIS’ research programmes have attracted international attention, trained young scholars, and supported the satellite applications for disaster reduction programs in the United Nations. Through participating in the ‘Space Silk Road’ programme, ISEIS will be able to receive new resources to upgrade its research standard, transfer its results to societal services, and build up an international cooperation platform for ASAS.