The FORMOSAT-2’s Image Processing System (IPS) is independently developed by NSPO. It is designed to process images by scheduling image taking operations according to the user’s needs. After the images are taken, the data will be downloaded through X-band antenna, prossed by the IPS such as radiometric and geometric corrections and then filed and stored in the computers. These files will be delivered to the end users based on the clients’ requests.
The main remote sensing mission for FORMOSAT-2 is to capture satellite images in order to satisfy the customers needs. FORMOSAT-2 unique design allows it to outperform other satellites in terms of some key advantages such as timeliness and frequency of satellite revisits, vast image coverage area, and low cost. The actual application of the remote sensing include: land usage, farm forest planning, environment monitoring, disaster evaluation, and scientific research and education.
Image Processing System(IPS) of Formosat-5 includes five subsystems. The main functions of the five subsystems are described as follows.
1. PSS: The main functions of PSS are to generate a sequence of imaging parameters, such as attitude and timeline, as well as to send commands from ground stations.
2. DIS: The main functions of DIS are to receive X-band signals in real time and to de-compress, de-cipher and de-format into raw remote sensing image data for DPS.
3. DMS: The main functions of DMS are to manage all data storage and flow of IPS, and to provide the services of query, quick look, product order and product packing.
4. DPS: The main functions of DPS are to process raw satellite image data to generate three different levels of image products, Level 1A, Level 1C or Level 2, through radiometric correction or radiometric/geometric corrections.
5. IQS: The main functions of IQS are to monitor and track the qualities of satellite image, such as relative and absolute radiometric corrections, as well as geometric correction.
The FORMOSAT-5 launch service contract was awarded to a U.S. rocket company, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), in April 2010. To fulfill the launch mission for the Fomosat-5, SpaceX proposed to use a Falcon 9 launch vehicle to deliver the satellite into the prescribed sun synchronous orbit at 720km altitude. The performance of the Falcon 9 is estimated to be capable of carrying up to 7,300kg payload weight into the FORMOSAT-5 prescribed parking orbit.
FORMOSAT-5 was launched on August 25 at 2:50 a.m. Taiwan time (August 24 at 11:50 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time) from the U.S. Vandenberg Air Force Base by SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. As of the status at 11:10 a.m., which is at the 5th revolution of FORMOSAT-5, Chungli ground station has communicated with FORMOSAT-5 successfully.