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State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science
Center for Applied Technology of Earth Observation
National Engineering Center for Geoinformatics
CAS Key Laboratory of Digital Earth Science
China Remote Sensing Satellite Ground Station
Airborne Remote Sensing Center
China Remote Sensing Satellite Ground Station

China Remote Sensing Satellite Ground Station (RSGS) was established and put into operation in 1986, with its Chinese name personally written by Mr. Deng Xiaoping.

Chinese name of RSGS inscribed by Deng Xiaoping.

RSGS is not only major national science and technology infrastructure but also a member of international ground stations group on Earth observation. As one of the world’s busiest ground stations, RSGS has received, processed and archived more than 30 satellites, with some 4 million scenes of satellite data since 1986, boasting China’s biggest Earth observation historical database. 

With four satellite receiving stations located in Miyun, Kashi, Sanya and Kunming respectively, RSGS has the capacity to receive real-time satellite data that cover the entire Chinese territory and 70% the land area of Asia.   

Reception mask of Miyun, Kashi, Sanya and Kunming Station of RSGS.

Starting operation in 1986 and equipped with seven big-diameter antenna as well as the corresponding data receiving, recording and transmitting facilities, the Miyun Station supports coverage over central China, northeast China and the adjacent foreign countries.  

Miyun Receiving Station.

The Kashi Station became operational in 2008. It has five 12-meter antenna systems and the data received cover Western China and Central Asian countries.  

Kashi Receiving Station.

The Sanya Station was put into use in 2010. It is also equipped with five 12-meter antenna systems and the data received cover the South China and the neighboring countries in Southeast Asia.

Sanya Receiving Station.

Deployment of the Kunming Station was completed in 2015. It has one 7.3m antenna system and the data received cover Southwest China and the neighboring regions.

Based on 30 years’ development, RSGS has formed a complete satellite data receiving, transmitting, archiving, processing and distributing system with Beijing Headquarters as the operation management and data processing center, and the Miyun, Kashi, Sanya and Kunming Stations as the data receiving network. Coordinated operation of the data receiving, data transmission, data processing, data management, data retrieval and technical service systems has made RSGS one of China’s core infrastructure facilities in the field of Earth observation. 

In 1986, RSGS began to receive and process data from LANDSAT-5, a US optical satellite. In 1993, it started to receive and process SAR (synthetic aperture radar) data from the ERS-1 satellite of ESA and the JERS-1 satellite of Japan, realizing all-weather Earth observation. In 1997 and 2008 respectively, RSGS succeeded in receiving and processing data from the RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2 satellites of Canada, with multimode, full polarization capacity. From 1998, RSGS began to receive and process data from the French SPOT series satellites, providing high spatial resolution data to Chinese users. In 2015 RSGS started to receive and process French PLEIADES satellites data, whose spatial resolution is up to 0.6 meter.

RSGS has been responsible for receiving data from all China’s Earth observation satellites Since 1999. Satellites ever received or being received now are: CBERS-01, CBERS-02, CBERS-02B, HJ-1A, HJ-1B, HJ-1C, ZY-02C, ZY-03, SJ-9A, SJ-9B, GF-1, GF-2, and CBERS-04.

RSGS is also in charge of near earth orbit satellite data reception for Space Sciences Satellites, which was initiated by Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2011. The first one, Dark Matter Particle Explorer satellite (DAMPE), was launched in 2015 and received by RSGS.


The Organizational chart of RSGS.

The main technical capabilities of RSGS are as follows:

  1. The data receiving system is capable of receiving satellite downlink data of the S, X, and Ka frequency bands. The data reception bit rate of the system is up to 2*600Mbps, which is the international leading level. It is able to track and rapidly capture highly dynamic low-SNR satellite signals.

  2. The data recording system is capable of real-time data recording, transmitting and quick look displaying, with a data recording capacity of up to 3000Mbps in five channels.

  3. The data transmission system consists of four high-speed data transmission links between the Miyun, Kashi, Sanya, Kunming Stations and the Beijing Headquarters, each of the four links respectively having a bandwidth of 10Gbps, 622Mbps, 622Mbps, and 200Mbps to ensure the timeliness of data transmission.

  4. RSGS owns several sets of foreign satellite data processing systems that meet international standards, with data products fully consistent with international standards of quality and specifications.

  5. RSGS provides data services such as on-line retrieval of archived satellite data, handling of product orders, download and delivery of data products, etc. It manages more than 4 million scenes of online data.

  6. RSGS may set up a Virtual Ground Station (SatSee system) for users, especially for neighbour countries. The VGS is able to provide users with near real-time, full resolution quicklook images of remote sensing satellite data received by RADI. 

  7. The operation management system manages 20-plus Chinese and international polar-orbiting Earth observation satellites, geostationary Earth observation satellites, and space science satellites by monitoring, scheduling and controlling the data receiving, recording and transmission systems, as well as their operation status and work performance. 

The satellite data receiving antennas.  

The control room at the Receiving Station.  

The international remote sensing satellite data processing system.

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