China's most advanced satellite platform DFH-5 enters orbit
China's heaviest satellite, Shijian-20 reached its fixed position in geosynchronous orbit on Sunday, marking the first successful flight of the Dongfanghong-5 (DFH-5) satellite platform, according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
The Shijian-20 satellite is the first verification satellite for the DFH-5 satellite platform, China's new generation of large geosynchronous orbit satellite platforms.
At present, the satellite has completed the orbit transfer and verified the key technologies of the DFH-5 satellite platform, according to Li Feng, chief designer of the Shijian-20 satellite.
The DFH-5 platform can carry different types of modules including communications, remote sensing and scientific experiments.
Compared with the DFH-3 and DFH-4 satellite platforms, the DFH-5 satellite platform has improved in weight, power and in-orbit lifespan, which will serve the needs of high-capacity satellites in the next 20 years, said Zhou Zhicheng, chief engineer of the DFH-5 satellite platform.
Pei Shengwei, deputy chief designer of the Shijian-20 satellite, said: "The DFH-3 platform follows the international technology standards while the technology of DFH-4 platform follows and even keeps pace with the international technology in some areas. That means we have reached the same level with others in some technologies."
The orbit altitudes will steadily be lowered due to gravity during the operation of the satellites and the satellites have to maintain their flying altitude by relying on their own power coming from chemical fuel propulsion and electric propulsion.