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Monday, September 26, 2016, 00:47

Role for HK universities in satellite research

By Dara Wang
Role for HK universities in satellite research
Xu Ying, a researcher at the Academy of Opto-Electronics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a major developer of BeiDou Navigation Satellite System

The research institute of the Chinese mainland’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) is set to seek multi-disciplinary cooperation with universities in Hong Kong, a mainland expert told the 2016 InnoTech Expo in Hong Kong on Sunday.

Xu Ying, a researcher at the Academy of Opto-Electronics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a major developer of BDS, said Hong Kong could use its advantage of international vision and advanced academic achievements to play an important role in BDS’s wide application in the world.

Collaboration will focus on almost all subject related to satellite services and navigation researches, he said.

Meanwhile, working with other countries and regions, the BDS will promote global satellite navigation development with other satellite systems, Xu said.

In Hong Kong -- a city of high-rises -- the BDS could provide high precision orientation service and is expected to be employed in industrial and agricultural activities, said Paul Tsui Hoi-yuen, managing director of Esri China (HK), provider of Hong Kong's Geographic Information System (GIS).

The BDS has been offering services mainly for the mainland and neighboring regions in Asia since 2000. It will complete the constellation deployment with 35 satellites and provide all-time, all-weather and high-accuracy positioning, navigation and timing services to global users around 2020, according to official documents.

It has been widely applied in areas, including communication, transportation and logistics transactions, marine fisheries, earthquake relief, weather forecasting and forest fire prevention, according to Xu, and will soon be applied in car networking and indoor positioning systems.

Joseph Sriyal Malik Peiris, director of the Centre of Influenza Research at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), called for increased cooperation among medical, veterinary and environmental sciences across countries and regions.

He said discovering the mechanisms of infectious diseases originating from and animals and transmissible to humans would enhance surveillance on inevitable mutations in future.

He also highlighted international cooperation in combating new virus strains as international travel and trade are among factors predisposing to the emergence of infectious diseases.

Peiris was the scientist to identify how the virus attacked white blood cells during the outbreak of influenza A H5N1. He was also the first person to isolate the previously-unknown corona virus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), in 2003.

Li Meng, vice-minister of the Ministry of Science, told the expo opening on Saturday that Hong Kong is gearing up for a greater role in the nation’s science and technology development.

Increased cooperation between the SAR and the Chinese mainland, he said, would include new platforms for joint research and development, intellectual property and technology transfer.

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