Deimos-2 captured the developments and construction of new facilities at three different Islands of the Paracels archipelago, in the South China Sea, over the period from March 2016 to May 2017.

The first video shows Woody Island, the largest one of this archipelago, which sports a protected harbour capable of hosting large numbers of vessels and an airstrip on March 18, 2016, July 12, 2016, March 25, 2017 and May 7, 2017.

Changes on the top of the image show HQ-9 surface-to-air missile batteries were deployed on the northern coast of the island on March 2016. These don’t appear there anymore on July 2016, when several reports pointed out they were removed coinciding with the conclusion of military exercises in the area. Both of the images from 2017 show camouflage netting laid out in that area and some reports claim the missiles are still there.

The crop on the left shows different boats docked at the harbour and what could be an amphibious warfare ship with a well dock on July 12, 2017.

The left zoom in shows berm structures erected around what seem to be storage buildings, probably to shield them from explosions.

 

 

The second video shows Tree Island on March 18, 2016, July 12, 2016 and March 25, 2017. Here a considerable expansion of land was dredged, and a harbour was completed.

 

 

Finally, the last and third video shows small changes in North Island, captured on July 12, 2016, March 25, 2017 and May 7, 2017. There are no military facilities in this island, but land clearing and possible preparations for a harbour are undergoing.

 

 

These three islands are part of the Paracel Islands located in South China Sea and disputed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam, with all of them claiming their control.

Deimos-2 data is key for activity-based intelligence and change detection applications.