A research institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has announced its proposal to launch a 72 piece Internet of Things (IoT) satellite constellation over the next three years.
The research institute will utilize the private Chinese satellite company, Commsat, to execute the plans. The mission will be funded by the Xi’an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics.
With eight communication satellites sent up in 2018 for in-orbit testing, Commsat intends to commence launches in 2020 with another four satellites and to complete the constellation of 72 satellites by the end of 2022.
In December 2018 the “ladybeetle series” was launched into lower orbit, this consists of seven small satellites currently testing a closed-loop IoT system including ground control stations and terminals, and cloud computing.
Once finished the global satellite system will not only be used for IoT but also assist different sectors such as logistics tracing, ship and vehicle monitoring, field emergency rescue and wildlife protection.
In 2018, Commsat launched an education satellite named Young Pioneer 1, connecting primary and secondary schools to wireless communications systems and space photography.