On 20 September, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) held a regular news conference, announcing that the first phase of on-orbit test of the launch satellite of Taiji Program in Space has been successfully completed. At the conference, XIANG Libin, vice president of CAS, officially named the satellite "Taiji-01".
With the efforts of all the members of Taiji-01, it only took one year for the development and launch of the satellite. The satellite successfully launched into orbit on 31 August, 2019. This means that the first step of the ‘three-step development’ strategy of ‘Taiji Program’ was initiated.
In Taiji-01 project, the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) is responsible for overall management of the science mission system and development of the micro hall-effect thruster system.
During the news conference, the chief scientist of ‘Taiji’ program, vice president of UCAS, director of International Centre of Theoretical Physics-Asia Pacific (ICTP-AP), WU Yueliang interpreted the on-orbit test and data analysis results of the first phase of Taiji-01. The results show that:
l The measurement accuracy of laser interferometer is up to 100 pm.
l The measurement accuracy of gravitational reference sensor reaches a billionth .
l The thrust resolution ratio of micro thruster reaches sub-scale.
l China’s highest accuracy of spatial laser interferometry.
l China’s first on-orbit drag free control technology test.
l Firstly and internationally on-orbit verification of micro-newton level radio frequency ion propulsion technology and dual mode hall-effect micro thruster technology.
Professor WU introduced that, in 1916, Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves based on general relativity. It is a kind of matter wave generated by the violent movement and change of matter and energy. The research on gravitational waves will provide a new important window for observing the universe and promote humans understanding of the unknown world.
Prof. DONG Xiaolong, general manager of the project, introduced the development process, organization, and implementation of the Taiji-01 project. After that, Prof. LI Huawang, introduced the platform and payload of the satellite system.
Taiji-01 has taken the first step in the exploration of space gravitational waves in China，and promoted the breakthrough of key technologies in the detection of space gravitational waves in China. ICTP-AP will also provide sustained support to the Taiji project and contribute to space gravitational waves detection.
Author: MENG Fanzi
Edited by GAO Yuan