China’s satellites are improving rapidly. The PLA will benefit

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Space Policy


Most of China’s satellites are of the leo variety. Being closer to Earth, they tend to produce images with a higher resolution than those captured by geo satellites. In terms of coverage, China’s growing constellation of leo satellites has gaps of less than 30 minutes between images of any one spot, says Juliana Suess of the Royal United Services Institute, a think-tank in London. geo satellites have no gaps at all. Yaogan-41, for example, can watch over Asia without interruption. When used with other technologies, it could give China “an unprecedented ability to identify and track car-sized objects throughout the entire Indo-Pacific region,” writes Clayton Swope, a former CIA analyst now at csis.