China successfully launched the first sun synchronous orbit meteorological satellite FY-1A on September 7, 1988. The satellite has two visible and infrared scanning radiometers of five channels. Its scan range is 3,000 kilometers. It can take nephogram of high quality. China had launched another three FY-1 satellites since then.
China successfully launched the first geosynchronous orbit meteorological satellite FY-2 on June 10, 1997. The satellite was equipped with a scanning radiometer of multiple channels. It can take a panoramic original nephogram covering one third of the Earth every half an hour. The success of FY-2 satellite is an important promotion to the development of meteorological services. At the end of 2008, there are 5 FY-2 satellites in orbit.
The first FY-3 satellite was successfully launched on May 27, 2008. FY-3 is the new generation polar orbit meteorological satellite, which has a mass of 2295 kilogram, with more than 10 payloads aboard, including infrared spectrometer, microwave imager and so on. Both its detectability and performance have achieved international leading level. It will also play an important role in monitoring nature disaster, environment change, climate change and so on.
FY-1 and FY-2 have been included in the World Meteorological Organization Operation Satellites.
At present, FY-4, the new generation of meteorological satellite is under development.