Space Programs | FORMOSAT-7

Program Description

The FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2 (simplified as FORMOSAT-7 in the following descriptions) is a major collaborative space program between Taiwan and the U.S. In this collaborative program, the designated representative for Taiwan is NSPO (National Space Organization) and the designated representative for the U.S. is NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). The FORMOSAT-7 program is a follow-on program to the successful FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC program with upgraded performance for spacecraft bus and mission payload.

The FORMOSAT-7 constellation are planned to be launched and deployed 6 satellites into the designated low inclination orbits to provide meteorology data at low and mid latitudes. The mission architecture is as shown below:

FORMOSAT-7 Mission Architecture

Each FORMOSAT-7 satellite is equipped with a Radio Occultation (RO) receiver, called TGRS, that receives the GNSS signal from GPS and GLONASS satellites. The received radio occultation data is then transmitted down to the ground to retrieve and process into useful atmospheric and ionospheric weather data such as temperature, pressure, water vapor content, electron density, etc. The FORMOSAT-7 mission constellation will deploy 6 satellites to 6 different orbital planes at an altitude of 550 km and an orbit inclination angle of 24 deg, The data distribution simulation for 24-hr coverage by FORMOSAT-7 constellation is shown below:

Data distribution simulation for 24-hr coverage by FORMOSAT-7 constellation

The constellation is designed for observing the equatorial regions between 50° south and 50° north latitudes. FORMOSAT-7 RO data provides the needed effective weather data to CWB, and post data analysis indicated that the typhoon track prediction accuracy can be dramatically improved.