A series of seven small satellites expected to serve for wildlife protection, field emergency rescue, vehicle and ship monitoring and logistics tracing were launched into space at noon Friday. A Long March-2D rocket, carrying the satellites called the “ladybeetle series,” together with two satellites for Saudi Arabia and three other small ones, blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 12:12 p.m.
The series include Ladybeetle 1, weighing about 100 kg, three CubeSats composed of six cubic units (10*10*10 cm) and three composed of three cubic units.
They are manufactured by Commsat, a Beijing-based private satellite company funded by the Xi’an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
“We named them ‘ladybeetles’ as we hope they are down-to-earth, bring qualified services for our clients and have strong vitality,” said Xie Tao, founder and CEO of Commsat.
Xie believes that Ladybeetle 1 will realize great commercial prospects due to its advantages in cost and flexibility. “A satellite at a weight of about 100 kg can accommodate more payloads than smaller minisatellites, but will consume much less power when connecting with ground terminals than big satellites weighing over a tonne.”
The ladybeetle series will be used to test a closed-loop system for the Internet of Things (IOT), which includes satellites, cloud computing platforms, ground control stations and terminals, said Peng Yuanyuan, co-founder and chief operating officer of Commsat.
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