Taiwan to develop and make satellite-loaded remote sensing instrument

The National Space Organization (NSPO) under Taiwan’s government-sponsored National Applied Research Laboratories (NARL) on February 2 announced the formation of a group specifically for the R&D and manufacturing of an optical remote sensing instrument to be included in the payload of Formosa Satellite (FormoSat) 5, Taiwan’s earth-observation satellite to be launched in 2013 by a US-based company, according to NSPO.

The project is a key part of Taiwan’s second-phase space program from 2004 to 2018, which aims to build up domestic capabilities in developing and making optical remote sensing instruments to put onboard satellites, and a satellite bus platform, NSPO emphasized.

Since it is difficult to acquire CCD sensors conventionally used in satellite remote sensors from technologically able countries, the project will instead adopt CMOS sensors developed and made domestically, NSPO pointed out. The optical remote sensing instrument will be designed to reach a 2m panchromatic resolution and 4m multi-spectral resolution, NSPO said.

FormoSat 5 will be sent into a 720km sun-synchronous orbit with a 99 minute period, and a specified mission time of five years, NSPO indicated. FormoSat 5 is NSPO’s fourth satellite. The first three were launched in January 1999, May 2004 and April 2006, NSPO noted.

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