About NSPO | Infrastructures

Ground System

The main function of National Space Organization (NSPO) ground system is the execution of the overall operating tasks of the FORMOSAT series satellites(FORMOSAT-1, FORMOSAT-2, FORMOSAT-3). The tasks include launch support, satellite bus operation and control, payload operation and control, and the reception, processing and distribution of remote sensing and scientice data.

The main function of National Space Organization (NSPO) ground system is the execution of the overall operating tasks of the FORMOSAT series satellites(FORMOSAT-1, FORMOSAT-2, FORMOSAT-3). The tasks include launch support, satellite bus operation and control, payload operation and control, and the reception, processing and distribution of remote sensing and scientice data.

The ground system consists of a Satellite Operations Control Center (SOCC), two S-band Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TT&C) Stations, an X-band Antenna System (XAS) and an Image Processing System (IPS). The system is operated and maintained by NSPO mission operation team.

Satellite Operations Control Center

The Satellite Operations Control Center (SOCC), located in NSPO, employs a single ground station software platform to operate multiple satellite missions simultaneously. The SOCC contains a number of subsystems, including Ground Communication Network, Mission Operation Center, Mission Control Center, Science Control Center and Flight Dynamic Facility.

Through the communication network, the SOCC monitors and controls two S-band Antenna Stations and an X-band Antenna Station as well as performs data transmission to the IPS and each Science Data Distribution Center of FORMOSAT series satellites.

Ground Communication Network

The core network for the ground station is Gigabitethernet, which is a high-speed backbone to link various subsystems in between.

Two E1 dedicated data lines are employed to build connection between NSPO and the two TT&C stations in Chungli and Tainan. Furthermore, the ISDN is used to perform data transmission between NSPO and overseas launch sites as well as overseas remote tracking stations to provide support for launch and operation.

Mission Operation Center

Mission Operation Center (MOC) is responsible not only for remote monitoring and controlling of the two S-band Antenna stations and the X-band Antenna Station in Hsin-chu, but also for carrying out 24/7 satellite monitoring and mission operations. The MOC monitors states satellites' health of the from telemetry, sends commands to satellites, and performs preliminary scientice data processing.

The major functions of the MOC include uploading commands, processing of downlinked telemetry, monitoring of satellites and their payloads' states of health, monitoring of ground stations, crisis management of satellites, launch phase support, data archiving and analysis of scientice experiments and satellite equipments, and satellite database management.

Mission Control Center

The major responsibility of the Mission Control Center (MCC) is to plan satellite activities and scientice experiments conducted on satellite payloads.

In order to support satellite activities during its pass of Taiwan, what the MCC does is to unlock the password settings, turn on the transmitter, arranges the initiation and suspension of the scientice data downlink at appropriate time, locks the satellite and turn off the transmitter before the lost of signal.

MCC also produces daily command sequence load to be transmitted by the Satellite Analyst to the satellite, so that the pre-scheduled commands can be execute the at absolute time defined within the sequence of command loads.

Science Control Center

The Science Control Center (SCC) is a science data processing center for the ground segment - a communication gateway between the ground segment and the Science Data Distribution Center. Its major functions include science data processing and archiving, and the distribution of science data to various scientice experiment teams.

The raw scientice data transmitted back from the satellite to the SCC is then processed with scientice data software, and is automatically distributed to the Science Data Distribution Center via Internet or a dedicated data line.

Flight Dynamic Facility

Flight Dynamic Facility is a compilation of flight dynamic analysis software. Its major functions comprise: (1) satellite orbit analysis, for example, orbit determination, the ground track and orbit transfer ; (2) satellite attitude analysis, for instance, attitude determination, attitude maneuver ; (3) flight dynamic simulations, such as dynamic simulation of satellite orbit and attitude, launch orbit simulations.

By the results of the software analysis, ground station personnel will completely keep track on the position of a moving satellite in an orbit. Orbit determination is an approach which makes use of positioning data collected by a satellite from the Global Positioning System (GPS) or tracking data gathered by ground tracking stations, to calculate a satellite orbit with Least Square Method. The ground track is obtained by projecting a satellite earth orbit onto a world map.

When a satellite mission needs an orbit transfer, the flight dynamic software may be used to calculate the accurate transferring point, speed and thrust direction.

S-band Telemetry, Track and Command Station

The communication link of FORMOSAT series and NSPO, such as receiving telemetry, tracking and sending commands, are achieved by the two Antenna Stations established in different locations, including National Central University in Chungli and the Space Center of National Cheng Kung University in Kueijen, Tainan. These two stations (the North and South stations) are facilitated with the same system and functioning ability thus are able to back-up each other.

Satellite Integration & Test BuildingThe South Telemetry, Tracking and Command Station

Imaging Data Acquisition System

X-band Antenna System

The major functions of the X-band antenna system (XAS), located in Hsin-chu, are receiving remote sensing imaging data of FORMOSAT-2, and then sending the data to the Image Processing System for further image processing and presentation. X-band antenna is a 7.2-meter diameter parabolic disk antenna, and it's highest reception data rate can reach up to 320 Mbps. Besides FORMOSAT-2, the XAS may also receive imaging data from other remote sensing satellites with the same frequency band, such as TERRA and AQUA*P.S. .

Image Processing System

The major function of Image Processing System (IPS) of FORMOSAT-2 is the further presentation and processing of the raw imaging data received by the X-band antenna system, including frame synchronization, decoding, optical and geometry correction.

The imaging processing system is self developed by NSPO R&D. The system provides functions including data ingestion, data management, image processing, imaging planning and scheduling, and is the major window for FORMOSAT-2 image subscribers.

NSPO Mission Operating Team

After FORMOSAT series' launches, the NSPO Mission Operating Team (NMOT) is responsible for an overall integrated operation and the maintenance of the softwares, hardwares and the operating procedures of the ground segment.

The team consists of members from NSPO, domestic industry and academics. The business members come from four domestic companies, including the Syscom Group, Advanced Control & Systems Inc., Tatung, and Taiwan Telecommunication Network Services Co; with academics we have the participation of National Central University and National Cheng Kung University.

In addition, the Satellite Operation and Control Division of NSPO is responsible for the overall management and functioning of the mission operation team.

*PS:TERRA , AQUA are both remote sensing satellites launched by NASA.