Science Cafe

  The "patron saint" of outer space takes the pulse of the "wind and cloud" of the Winter Paralympics

  Will it be sunny tomorrow, or will it be snowing?

It's not easy to see "God's face".

At the just-concluded 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympics, a "patron saint" from outer space took on this important task for the athletes on the field.

  It is the geostationary-orbiting meteorological satellite, Fengyun-4B, guarded in space 36,000 kilometers away from the earth.

Meteorological satellites are usually divided into polar-orbiting meteorological satellites and geostationary-orbiting meteorological satellites. The former orbits the poles of the earth, while the latter is stationary relative to the earth and conducts long-term meteorological observations on the target area covered.

  In just 9 days of competition, the complex weather took turns in battle, adding many challenges to the competition arrangement.

Most of the ice and snow events of the Winter Paralympics are carried out outdoors, and the requirements for meteorological conditions are extremely strict. It is necessary to accurately release the weather forecast of the competition areas around Beijing.

  These challenges were placed in front of Fengyun-4B star one by one, but they did not stymie the "patron saint" of this metal body.

It operates safely 24 hours a day, and a large amount of data is sent back to Earth and sent to the Aerospace Zhixin Aerospace Team of the Third Academy of Aerospace Science and Technology of China.

  During the Beijing Winter Paralympics, the young team improved the monitoring density and the accuracy of weather forecasts according to the instructions of their superiors.

The monitoring range is centered on Beijing, and the minute-level 250-meter, 500-meter and 2,000-meter resolution observations are carried out on a 2,000-kilometer area.

The image positioning and registration system adopts real-time data processing and push process mode to support business product generation and data analysis.

  To put it figuratively, the team positioned and registered the original images downloaded by the satellite to ensure the accuracy of the image positions, and provided key technical support for the later product generation and refined meteorological forecasting of cloud layer observations and rainfall observations.

  "In a light rain, many flowers are new, and a thunderclap begins." This poem by Wei Yingwu, a poet in the Tang Dynasty, depicts the unpredictable weather conditions in early spring.

The time period for the Beijing Winter Paralympics to be held happens to be sandwiched between the two solar terms of "Jing Zhe" and "Spring Equinox".

  This is a "high risk" season for satellites.

  The projection of the sun on the ground spans the equator and is shifting from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere. The impact on the satellite is the most obvious. The impact lasts for up to 3 hours a day. Once the remote sensing instrument of the satellite is directly irradiated by the sun, the light will cause communication interruption, and the severe case will be interrupted. A direct threat to the safe operation of satellites.

  In addition, satellites are greatly affected by solar radiation, and the space thermal environment is complex.

When the satellite is in orbit, the temperature of the star and its payload changes significantly with the change of the direction of the sun's irradiation, resulting in a large deviation between the position generated by the image and the actual position, thus affecting the accuracy of the weather forecast.

This problem has been a difficult problem in meteorological support work for many years.

  On the one hand, the Aerospace Zhixin Aerospace Team of the Third Academy has intensified the inspection of satellite command parameters to ensure the safe operation of satellites in orbit.

On the other hand, the self-developed technology was developed. By identifying the deviation law of thermal deformation when the satellite is in orbit, and correcting the influence of its thermal deformation, the ground positioning accuracy was improved, and the prediction accuracy was improved.

  This is a young and vigorous team, and members often stimulate innovation through brainstorming.

Members Cui Ya and Geng Tong are both "little generals" who have been employed for less than 3 years, but have experience in 2 major projects.

Team leader Huang Pan encouraged young employees to dare to put forward new ideas, explore new ways, and constantly "unlock" new skills.

  Once, when Cui Ya was on the night shift, she suddenly discovered that the data downloaded by the satellite was abnormal, but she had little experience at that time and did not know how to deal with it.

  Cui Ya called the technical expert Na Huabin's mobile phone immediately.

It was 3:00 in the morning, but Na Huabin responded quickly when he received the call, notifying the technical backbone Geng Tong to rush to the office area, and driving from home to the Beijing Meteorological Satellite Ground Station.

  Na Huabin and team members analyzed the data together to find the root cause of the problem, groped for ideas over and over again, and corrected by trial and error again and again. After 32 hours of brainstorming, the problem was finally successfully solved.

  The "patron saint" of outer space is Fengyun-4B star, and these young people are the "patron saint" behind the "patron saint".

  China Youth Daily, China Youth Daily reporter Zhang Miao Source: China Youth Daily