Thursday, April 10, 2008

FORMOSAT-2 Satellite Sensor Specifications

Resolution 2m panchromatic
8m multispectral
Launch Date May 21, 2004 (Taiwan time)
Weight Approximately 760 Kilograms
Size and Shape Hexagonal, height 2.4 meters, outer radius approximately 1.6 meters (with solar panels folded)
Orbit Sun-synchronous orbit at altitude of 891 kilometers, passes through Taiwan twice daily
Orbit Period Approximately 103 minutes
Resolution 2 meters for black/white images
8 meters for color images
Image Swatch 24km Limb view angle 45°, capable of capturing 3-D images
Mission Life 5 years

FORMOSAT-2 Satellite Sensor

The first remote sensing satellite developed by National Space Organization (NSPO), FORMOSAT-2, successfully launched on May 21, 2004 with a high resolution of 2 meter panchromatic data and 8 meter multispectral satellite image data. The main mission of FORMOSAT-2 is to conduct remote sensing imaging over Taiwan and on terrestrial and oceanic regions of the entire earth.

The images captured by FORMOSAT-2 during daytime can be used for land distribution, natural resources research, forestry, environmental protection, disaster prevention, rescue work, and other applications. When the satellite travels to the eclipsed zone, it will observe natural phenomena such as lighting in the upper atmosphere which can be used for further scientific experiments. FORMOSAT-2 carries both "remote sensing" and "scientific observation" tasks in its mission. The spacecraft is operating nominally as of 2006.

The FORMOSAT-2's Image Processing System (IPS) is independently developed by NSPO. It is designed to process images by tasking the satellite according to the user's needs. Images are then taken and downloaded through X-band antenna, then crossed with through IPS such as radiometric and geometric corrections and stored in computers. These files will be delivered to the end users based on the clients' requests.