China puts high-throughput communication satellite into service

  Shijian-13, China's first high-throughput communication satellite, has been put into service after completing a key laser communication test, China National Space Administration said Tuesday.

  The high-orbit satellite has finished a two-way high-speed laser communication test between the satellite and ground, the first of its kind in the world, the administration said in a statement.

  Serving users in China, the satellite will connect communication base stations in remote areas and meet the needs of distance education, digital news gathering, and emergency communication, said Li Feng, chief satellite designer at China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

  Shijian-13, launched from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province in 2017, has a transfer capacity of 20 Gbps and a designed orbital life of 15 years.

  The satellite, named Zhongxing-16 after it was put into service, will provide better Internet access on planes and high-speed trains with a maximum download capacity of 150 Mbps and upload capacity of 12 Mbps, according to the statement.

  High-throughput communication satellites can form a communication network with larger transfer capacity and higher transfer speeds compared with ordinary satellites.

  With a transfer capacity of 200 Gbps, a communication network covering China and the Asia-Pacific region is expected to be established in 2020 as China will send more high-throughput communication satellites into space, said the statement.

  By 2025, China will have 22 communication satellites, with five built based on brand new designs, according to a medium-long term development plan for civilian space infrastructure released in 2015.