China on Tuesday put into orbit the first two satellites from a constellation devoted to what is known as the “Internet of Things”, meaning technology that allows electronic equipment to “communicate” with each other, according to official media outlets.
The launch took place at 09:16 (01:16 GMT) from Jioguan (northwest) base, thus signaling the launch of the “Xingyun Project”, according to the New China News Agency.
“Xingyun-2-01” and “Xingyun-02-02” will be part of 80 communications satellites, all of which will be in low Earth orbit (at altitudes less than two thousand kilometers) up to the year 2023, according to the same source.
The Qingyun project is the first space constellation dedicated to the Internet of Things developed independently from China, according to the agency.
The rocket carrying the two satellites, called Koyaju-1A, has been decorated with a drawing representing Chinese doctors and nurses fighting the Covid-19 epidemic with the phrase “salutations to healers” in Mandarin.
The Internet of Things is based on establishing communication between two electronic devices via the Internet without human intervention. It may work on sensors or equipment from daily life.
This technology is used for many purposes, including improving traffic and improving management effectiveness, as well as bracelets that are able to monitor diseases and heating devices that automatically adapt to the weather.
The Internet of Things is expected to achieve a breakthrough with the development of the 5G network that provides 100 times faster speed than the 4G networks currently available.
China is not alone in this regard. In September the European satellite group Eutelsat announced the launch of a constellation of 25 dwarf satellites to be launched on the Internet of Things market.