▲ Image of San Francisco Bay, USA taken by Chinese satellite 'Beijing-3'

China's small Earth observation satellite can take high-definition images of large areas of American cities in just 42 seconds, Chinese scientists say.

China's Hangcheng Science and Technology Group, in charge of China's space exploration program, said in a research report published this month in the Chinese journal 'Spaceship Engineering', "Our technological level has reached a world-leading position."

The research team reported that the one-ton small commercial satellite 'Beijing-3' launched by China in June captured the core area of ​​San Francisco Bay in the United States at an altitude of 500 km with a resolution of 50 cm per pixel.

Most Earth observation satellites produce blurry images due to shaking if their posture is not stable during video recording, but Beijing-3 rotates and tilts greatly over North America, producing high-quality images while shooting the ground from various angles. .

The researchers found that Beijing-3 could turn up to 10 degrees per second, a speed not seen with conventional satellites.

The Beijing-3 is also said to be moving fast, producing images that are sharp enough to identify military vehicles on the street and determine what type of weapon they are carrying.

The reaction speed of Beijing-3 is two to three times faster than that of the US' World View-4, which is currently the best performing Earth observation satellite, the research team said.

He added that the Beijing-3 weighs half the weight of the Worldview-4, but the shooting range is 77% wider.

(Photo = South China Morning Post capture, Yonhap News)