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2017.08.25

FORMOSAT-5 Was Launched to Space Successfully And Has Contacted with Taiwan Ground Station

FORMOSAT-5 satellite was launched on August 25 at 2:50 a.m. Taiwan time (August 24 at 11:50 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time) from the U.S. Vandenberg Air Force base by SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. As of the status at 11:10 a.m., which is at the 5th revolution of FORMOSAT-5, Chungli ground station has communicated with FORMOSAT-5 successfully. Minister Liang-Gee Chen, watching the live broadcast from his MOST office, delivered his appreciation to Narlabs and NSPO immediately.


FORMOSAT-5 satellite was transported from Taiwan to the United States on July 19, 2017. Upon arrival to the U.S. launch site, NSPO engineer team started to conduct function tests on the satellite. The satellite was then integrated onto launch vehicle. FORMOSAT-5 was launched on August 25 at 2:50 a.m. Taiwan time. 11 minutes 16 seconds after launch, FORMOSAT-5 was deployed into mission orbit. Later on, NSPO's satellite operations control center, which is located in Hsinchu, received the state vector transmitted from SpaceX and took it to propagate for FORMOSAT-5's orbit. 82 minutes and 56 seconds after launch, Svalbard station acquired the signal from FORMOSAT-5 for the first pass. The satellite revolves around the earth every 99 minutes. At the 4th revolution, NSPO was able to conduct a trial contact through Chungli ground station at 9:32 a.m. ~ 9:39 a.m.. At the 5th revolution, NSPO successfully communicated with FORMOSAT-5 from Chungli station at 11:10 a.m. ~11:19 a.m..

NSPO's mission operations team will continue to configure and monitor the satellite. The orbit adjustment and image calibration will be conducted after the check on satellite subsystem has been completed. It is expected one month after launch, FORMOSAT-5 will start to carry out its remote sensing mission and explore the ionosphere.

Background Information of FORMOSAT-5

FORMOSAT-5 program carries out the remote sensing mission approved by National Science Council (now is Ministry Of Science and Technology) in 2009. The program is executed and coordinated is by National Space Organization (NSPO) of National Applied Research Laboratories (Narlabs). It took six years to accomplish all the mission segments. Remote sensing instrument (RSI) is FORMOSAT-5's primary payload. The development involves NSPO, Instrument Technology Research Center, National Chip Implementation Center, ChungShan Institute of Science and Technology, Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation, CMOS sensors Inc. and Camels Vision Technologies. The made-in-Taiwan RSI can provides 2-m resolution panchromatic and 4-m resolution multi-spectral images. The image can be applied to disaster mitigation and relief, environmental monitoring, homeland security, academic and technology research, rescue reference, etc..

Advanced Ionospheric Probe (AIP) is FORMOSAT-5's science payload, it is provided by Institute of Space Science, National Central University. AIP can measure ionospheric plasma concentrations, velocities, and temperatures. The transient and long-term variations of ionospheric plasma can be used to study the space weather and space communication as well as be monitored as seismic precursors associated with earthquakes.

FORMOSAT-5 operates in a sun synchronous orbit at 720-km altitude with 98.28-degree inclination angle. It revolves around the earth 14.5 orbits per day. It can take image over the globe with 2-day revisit cycle. The mission life is 5 years.

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