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Formosat-5 is an Earth observation satellite operated by the National Space Organization (NSPO) of Taiwan. It is NSPO s first indigenously developed remote sensing satellite.

Mission of the program is shown as follows:

  • To build up Taiwan’s self-reliant space technology on the remote sensing payload and spacecraft bus,
  • To develop the key components of the EO-type remote sensing instrument and spacecraft bus by integrating the domestic resources,
  • To continue to serve the global imagery users’ community of FORMOSAT-2, and To promote the space science experiment & research.

FORMOSAT-5 operates in a sun synchronous orbit at 720-km altitude with 98.28-degree inclination angle. Similar to FORMOSAT-2, an optical Remote Sensing Instrument (RSI), which provides 2-m resolution panchromatic (PAN, black & white) and 4-m resolution multi-spectral (MS, color) images, is the primary payload on FORMOSAT-5. The primary payload consists of one PAN band with 12,000 pixels and four MS bands with 6000 pixels each. In addition, a secondary payload, a scientific instrument (i.e., Advanced Ionospheric Probe (AIP)), was developed by The National Central University (NCU). FORMOSAT-5 was launched by SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on August 25, 2017 and both payloads are operating normally.

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The basic characteristics of FORMOSAT-5 are similar to FORMOSAT-2 and shown below:

Characteristic Description
Category Remote sensing satellite
Weight About 450 kg (including payload and fuel)
Dimension Hexagonal, 2.8 m height, 1.6 m OD
Orbit altitude 720 km, sun-synchronous
Repeatability Every two days
Period about 99 minutes
Mission Life 5 years
Agility ≧24°/60 sec (Roll); ≧24°/60 sec (Pitch); ≧7°/60 sec (Yaw)
Ground Sampling Distance (GSD) 2m @ nadir (PAN), 4m @ nadir (Blue, Green, Red, Infrared)
Swath Width 24 km @ nadir
Contrast Transfer Function (CTF) ≧ 0.1(PAN)
≧ 0.2 (Blue, Green, Red)
≧ 0.16 (Infrared)
Image Data Storage ≧80 Gbits