Journey of Chinese Space and Culture 2019

In order to make international students specializing in space technology applications understand the aerospace achievements of China and the deep Chinese culture for strengthening international cooperation, APSCO initiated a proposal to organize a series of visits for MASTA and DOCSTA students in 2017. This proposal is now being implemented by Beihang University as a continued activity. APSCO appreciates and supports the initiative and attends some of related activities. This event also got strong support from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China.

In this regard, Series of activities about grand tour of “Chinese Space and Culture” were successfully organized by the Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (RCSSTEAP) for MASTA2018 and DOCSTA2018 students from February to June 2019 in Xi'an and Beijing. The tour included visiting nine different stations:

◆ The 1st Station: National Time Service Center (NTSC), China

◆ The 2nd station: National Disaster Reduction Center of China (NDRCC), China

◆ The 3rd station: Institute of Remote Sensing & Digital Earth (RADI), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)

◆ The 4th Station: International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage under the Auspices of UNESCO (HIST)

◆ The 5th Station: The Twenty First Century Aerospace Technology Co., Ltd (21AT), China

◆The 6th Station: Land Satellite Remote Sensing Application Center, MNR of China Surveying & Mapping Museum of China

◆ The 7th Station: SuperMap Software Co., Ltd, China

◆ The 8th Stop: the National Satellite Meteorological Center (NSMC), China

◆ The 9th Station: Information Management Center of the Supreme People's Court, China

The 1st Station: National Time Service Center (NTSC), China

During February 25 to 28, 2019, Students of MASTA2018 and DOCSTA2018 visited the National Time Service Center (NTSC), Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) which used to be called Shanxi Astronomical Observatory and is a scientific research institution engaged in the fundamental research and technology R&D in the fields of time-frequency and satellite navigation.


NTSC undertakes the task to generate, maintain and transmit the national standard of time-frequency, and operates a national major scientific infrastructure-the long and short wave time service system.

At the beginning of this trip, students took an interesting class of “Chinese Calligraphy” and went to see the Small Wild Goose.

And on the second day of culture experience, all of the participants visited the Square which is a Buddhist pagoda located in southern of Xi’an City, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the famous Terra-Cotta Warriors, a world-renowned symbol pf Chinese history.


Students visit Foucault Pendulum

The next day, participants visited NTSC, CAS, a national-level base-type research institute which undertakes the tasks of national standard time transmitting, generating, and keeping. NTSC can test and evaluate the atomic clock in different location through the technology of remote time comparison. When students visited NTSC, they gained knowledge about how NTSC keeps the National Standard Time highly stably and accurately. In addition, students also got the knowledge about how to maintain and generate Time and Frequency standards, synchronization between Universal Coordinate Time (UTC) and BeiDou Time (BDT). At the end of this day, they visited the Time Science Museum and witnessed many important historical facts and achievements regarding Time in China’s history.


Students visit Time Science Museum

On the last day, they visited the Forest of Steles, a place of interest which preserved tons of treasures created by famous calligraphers and Bell Tower which has a long history about 400 years. Students also went to the Xi’an City Wall, an impressive and well-preserved construction, where all participants got to know the history behind the Ming Dynasty and Tang Dynasty. 

The 2nd station: National Disaster Reduction Center of China (NDRCC), China

NDRCC is providing information and technological support, including a national disaster database which local civil affairs department accesses to enter details about the disasters. NDRCC is a very strong supporter of the UN-SPIDER programme and is hosting the UN-SPIDER Beijing Office. UN-SPIDER facilitates fast and efficient access to space-based information for countries as well as international and regional organizations. This includes all types of information provided by Earth observation satellites, communication satellites and global navigation satellite system.

In the second station of this activity on March 14, 2019, students of MASTA2018 and DOCSTA2018 visited the National Disaster Reduction Center of China (NDRCC).

In the morning of reception, Dr. Li Suju, deputy director of satellite remote sensing department introduced work and services carried out in Ministry of Emergency Management of the People's Republic of China (MEM) and its National Disaster Reduction Center of China to all participants. And after that, she explained disasters are a challenge and how space technology is used in Disaster Risk Management. 


Dr. Liu Ming makes presentation to students

In addition, students were introduced about HEM institutional reforms, services and products at national and international level in detail and how China has faced natural disaster by Dr .Liu Ming, Expert of Remote Sensing (RS) & Forest Fire, who also show the disaster reporting system based on BeiDou.

After presentation, students were taken to Unmanned Aerial Vehicle RS System Lab, BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) lab and Disaster Reporting System Lab.

This informative and interesting visit concluded with visit to Real-time Satellites Orbing Simulation System and Group photo with MEM experts.     

Group Photo

The 3rd station: Institute of Remote Sensing & Digital Earth (RADI), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)

In the third station of this activity on March 21, 2019, Students visited the institute of Remote Sensing & Digital Earth (RADI), CAS.

RADI was formed in 2012; the year marked the 50th birthday of remote sensing, 30-year progress of Earth observations and the 15th anniversary of Digital earth. RADI was established consolidating to CAS; the institute of Remote Sensing Applications (IRSA) and the Center for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (CEODE).The primary purpose of this center is to foster research in the young generation to study the science of environment observations and remote sending through utilizing satellite imagery. RADI consists of nine laboratories at national level, two great national earth observation centers utilizing space data accumulated through satellite. It also houses four esteemed international S&T centers which are supported by UNESCO and ICSU.

Group Photo

At the beginning of this visit, students were shown satellite images of Beijing recorded on April 2018 which prove their database prowess that old data available to carry-on research and environment radiation modeling on them.

After that, the students were introduced to State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science which is organized to study the global change in the environment. Through the studies of hydrological studies of the atmosphere a simulation center has been built which monitors the radiations from the earth surface and the energy balance phenomena.

At the end of this day, students visited Remote Sensing Science Corridor (Museum) where placed various equipment of the past which have been used for the purpose of atmosphere study and remote sensing, such as GER MARK V spectrum-scanner, a high-altitude digital camera, a projector and other obsolete equipment’s.

Students visit RADI

The 4th Station: International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage under the Auspices of UNESCO (HIST)

In the fourth station of this activity on March 28, 2019, Students visited the International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage under the Auspices of UNESCO(HIST).

International natural and cultural heritage of Space Technology Center (referred to as HIST) is the first UNESCO-based World Heritage research institution on space technology and Remote Sensing and Digital Earth Research. HIST aims to use space technology for UNESCO and its Member States in monitoring and protecting the world heritage and world biosphere reserves to deal with climate change and natural disasters, to provide technical services through education and training, and to enhance Its space technology Capacity building to promote sustainable development.

On reception, the students were showed a concise and interesting video named “Digital Earth Science and Space Technologies for World Heritage” which impressed all participants and also stimulated participants interest in space technology on natural and cultural heritage preservation.

In the next, Students visited the Digital Earth platform Airborne Satellite Remote Sensing Centre and Satellite Operation and Management Department, etc. where participants came to have a deeper understanding of the relationship between practical cultural heritage protection and the theoretical knowledge. Then, all participants were given concise and intriguing presentations peaking the interest of all the students. During the presentation, high definition images were used to keep the viewers involved at all times.

Students also watched a video named “Digital Earth Science and Space Technologies for World Heritage”.

At the end of this day, the respectable Executive Deputy Director& Secretary General of HIST Prof. Hong Tianhua gave a speech in which he summarized a report of HIST on a UNESCO designated area commented on the current work that is done with countries in need of space technologies.

The purpose of this visit is to make students realize that the applications of space technology are very extensive and hope them to make a contribution to heritage protection someday in the future with the help of solid professional knowledge.


 Group Photo

The 5th Station: The Twenty First Century Aerospace Technology Co., Ltd (21AT), China

In the fifth station of this activity on April 2, 2019, students visited the Twenty First Century Aerospace Technology Co., Ltd (21AT). 

The Twenty First Century Aerospace Technology Co, Ltd (21AT), was founded on 6th June 2001 in Beijing and it was the first and only operational commercial EO satellite operator and service provider in China. The company currently has more than 400 full-time employees. The company is capable of providing products and services for the entire space Geo-information value chain from satellite procurement/financing, satellite housekeeping, payload & satellite resources management, tasking, data acquisition, image processing, hosting/archiving, data management/distribution, multiple satellite source integration through its web portal, sophisticated Geo-information services, to application software development and integrated solutions. It owns and operates the Beijing series of low cost EO small satellites from its satellite control& image tasking and receiving Stations. 

Mr. Xu Xin, Director of Business of Development of 21AT Company, briefly introduced the situation of 21AT, and then Ms. Zhang Nannan, delivered a further detailed introduction of the company as well as Beijing series satellites. After coffee break, participants had question and answer session when classmates asked all their questions and discussed with the experts of the company.


Presentation by Mr. Xu Xin

Group Photo

Students thought that technical visit is very important and impressive and it offers the practical experience of observing the new technology, applications and developed world. 

The 6th Station: Land Satellite Remote Sensing Application Center, MNR of China Surveying & Mapping Museum of China

In the sixth station of this activity on April 22, 2019, students of visited the Land Satellite Remote Sensing Application Center, MNR of China Surveying & Mapping Museum of China. 

"Surveying or land surveying” is the technique, profession, art and science of determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional positions of points and the distances and angles between them. A land surveying professional is called a land surveyor. These points are usually on the surface of the Earth, and they are often used to establish maps and boundaries for ownership, locations, such as building corners or the surface location of subsurface features, or other purposes required by government or civil law such as property sales.

During the visit, students made the tour of the facilities where they could interact with various objects and simulations such as scale size of the scientific works that are carried out in the Antarctic, high resolution cameras used in remote sensing satellites, the history of the first steps for the installation of the mapping and monitoring of the land in China and many simulations in 3D about the creation of small cities.

After this visit, Students moved to Land Satellite Remote Sensing Application Center and they received an interesting talk from Mr. Sun Lebing and Ms. Lv Shanshan there. They explained the following points: Introduction of LASAC, Natural Resources Land Satellite and their applications, International Cooperation and Prospect.

Students visit Land Satellite Remote Sensing Application Center

Then participants made a visit to demonstration of satellite simulation system, the cloud service platform of natural resources satellite image and its application, data management system, stereo mapping of China.

Group Photo

It is important to highlight that this visit allowed participants to strengthen the knowledge acquired during their program in China.

The 7th Station: SuperMap Software Co., Ltd, China

In the seventh station of this activity on May 16, 2019,students visited the Super Map Software Co., Ltd. 

SuperMap Software Co., Ltd is an innovative GIS platform software and service provider which was founded in 1997. SuperMap GIS product line is comprised of a full range of GIS platforms, including Cloud GIS, Component GIS, Desktop GIS, Mobile GIS and client SDK. The 4 key technologies of SuperMap GIS include Cross-platform GIS, Cloud and Client Integration GIS, new generation 3D GIS and Big Data GIS.  SuperMap GIS is widely used in various fields and has become advanced GIS platform software in China since 2015. 


Group Photo

The administrator Ms. Chen Yue guided students to visit the R&D Center of SuperMap to make all the participants have a preliminary understanding of the company’s core products, audience and industrial. After that, the students visited the exhibition hall on the first floor and were showed the video to have more intuitive understanding of the company’s operating concept. At the end of the visit, students were led to visit the office area where they can have a direct impression about the working environment and company culture, at the same time they were introduced more details about SuperMap by business manager Mr. Li Qinci.

Students visit exhibition hall

The 8th Stop: the National Satellite Meteorological Center (NSMC), China

Students of visited the National Satellite Meteorological Center (NSMC) of China on June 20, 2019. 

The National Satellite Meteorological Center was established on July 1st, 1971, and is a direct institution of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), which is responsible for formulating the development plan for China’s meteorological satellites and satellite meteorological services as state-level public welfare and basic business unit. The goals of NSMC are to meet the demands of space weather services for sustainable development of China, do surveys on space weather hazards, to plan a space monitoring layout, promote advances of technological and scientific fields, and finally to increase international recognition of China’s role in this sector.

During the visit, Ms. Zhu Jie, senior engineer of NSMC gave a presentation about the Fengyun Meteorological Satellite Project, which includes the FY-1 sun-synchronous satellite that monitors the impact of high energy particles on spacecraft, and the FY-2 geo-synchronous satellite responsible for measuring solar X-ray and energetic particles. It was mentioned the latest satellites launched, such as, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite FY-3 has aurora and ionosphere capabilities, and FY-4 series can provide solar imaging and geomagnetic field observations. TanSat satellite: the first Chinese Earth observation satellite dedicated to monitoring carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere has also been mentioned. Furthermore, it was mentioned that the use of satellites is pervasive, it includes climate prediction, cloud product development, natural disaster monitoring, and environmental monitoring. 

Students visit NSMC

By the end of the visit, models on a smaller scale of Chinese rockets from the Long March family and Fengyun satellites have been displayed to students.

Group Photo

The 9th Station: Information Management Center of the Supreme People's Court, China

Students visited the Information Management Center of the Supreme People's Court on June 25, 2019. The visit was specially arranged for students of Space Law and Policy.

The expert of the Center made a presentation on "Accelerate the Construction of Smart Court and Promote the Modernization of Trial System and Trial Capability". He delivered that the center persists in serving the people and make effort to create a platform for judicial openness and online litigation. In 2016, the center launched the China Court Hearing Openness Online, a platform on which all publicly available court hearing across the country are webcasted. This platform has also become an important part of China social credit system construction. 

Students visit Information Management Center of the Supreme People's Court

Students learned that development of Law cannot be separated from the development of science and technology. They are willing to be professionals to service judicial management, make full use of judicial big data analysis and promote scientific management and precise decision-making.

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