China Launches Electromagnetic Satellite to Study Earthquake Precursors

Known as Zhangheng 1 in Chinese, the satellite will help scientists monitor the electromagnetic field, ionospheric plasma and high-energy particles for an expected mission life of five years. It s named after Zhang Heng, a renowned scholar of the East Han Dynasty (25-220), who pioneered earthquake studies by inventing the first ever seismoscope in the year 132. Among the eight instruments on board the satellite is the High-Energy Particle Package (HEPP), which was developed by the Institute of High Energy Physics of CAS. HEPP is composed of three instruments designed to measure high energy particles (a solar X-ray detector, a high-energy detector and a low-energy detector). Its main function is to measure the flux, energy spectrum and direction of energetic electrons in the range 0.1-50 MeV and high energy protons at 2-200 MeV, at the position of the orbiting satellite, and monitor real-time changes in the solar X-ray spectrum.

Source: CAS news release, February 5, 2018

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