Friday, April 01, 2005

Japan plans satellites monitoring

Japan Education, Science and Technology ministry plans
to launch a group of satellites in fiscal 2012 to
monitor earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic activity and
other geological events in the Asia-Pacific region.

The group comprises four radar satellites and a
geostationary satellite, which would circle the Earth at
an altitude of between 600 and 1,000 kilometers and
36,000 kilometers, respectively.

If a natural disaster occurs, the radar satellites could
send images of the disaster area within three hours, the
official said. The ministry will announce the plan as
"a part of Japan's contribution to minimize damage
caused by natural disasters, such as the recent large
quakes off Sumatra, at the Asia-Pacific Regional Space
Agency Forum set for October in Kitakyushu."

The radar satellites are designed to emit electric waves
and produce an image of the Earth's surface from the
reflection of the waves. This system works at night or
in rain.

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