Space Programs │ FORMOSAT-3

Program Description

The "FORMOSAT-3 Program" is an international collaboration project between Taiwan and the US with joint efforts of Taiwan's National Space Organization (NSPO) and University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) of the US, the goal of the project is to develop advanced technology for the real-time monitoring of the global climate. Therefore, this project is also named Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate, or FORMOSAT/COSMIC for short.

This project is targeted to place six micro-satellites into six different orbits at 700~800 kilometer above the earth ground. These satellites orbit around the earth to form a low-earth-orbit constellation that will receive signals transmitted by the 24 US GPS satellites. The satellite observation covers the entire global atmosphere and ionosphere, providing over 2,500 global sounding data per day. These data distribute uniformly over the earth's atmosphere. The global climate information collection and analysis can be completed in three hours while the sounding data will be updated every 90 minutes. Upon the completion of this project, the frequency of updating weather forecast can be increased so that the weather reports can be more efficient. In addition, this system can also be used as the long-term climate change research, interactive ionosphere monitoring, global space weather forecast, and earth gravity research. In the future, Taiwan will be able to exchange climate observation data with foreign partners in order to enhance our position and importance in the international meteorology society.

Through the collaboration and execution of the FORMOSAT-3 Program, NSPO will able to establish Taiwan's capability in the planning, design, integration, testing and operation of the micro-satellite constellation. Furthermore, Taiwan's domestic component manufacturers will receive the micro-satellite component manufacturing techniques through technical transfer. Therefore, Taiwan will be able to establish and elevate the foundation of the manufacturing industry for space applications.