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National Space Organization (NSPO) of National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs) announced that FORMOSAT-5 primary payload, a CMOS-type Remote Sensing Instrument (RSI), has been successfully developed, integrated to the spacecraft, and tested to its operational requirements in April 2015. FORMOSAT-5 is a follow-on earth observation mission of FORMOSAT-2 which has been operating for over ten years since its launch in 2004. NSPO started a commitment to develop a 100% made-in-Taiwan RSI by taking the advantage of domestic superior electronics and semi-conductor industries in 2010. After 5-year R&D efforts by NSPO and its domestic partners, the delivery of RSI stands for a significant accomplishment of the space technology development in Taiwan. FORMOSAT-5, providing 2-meter panchromatic and 4-meter multi-spectrum global images, will be launched in Q1 2016 into a two-day revisit Sun-synchronous orbit at 720km altitude and 98.28 degree inclination.

FOMOSAT-5 with CMOS-type Remote Sensing Instrument

The RSI payload development has pushed the NSPO's engineering team through several challenges which include the innovative design & manufacturing of CMOS Image Sensor (CIS), CFRP strut manufacturing, on-board image compression, and the optical structure assembly & alignment. The CMOS IC is a single chip at a size of 120mm x 24mm, stitching four system-on-chips (SoC) together and each SoC contains five image sensing lines. PAN image sensing line consists of 12,000 pieces of 10µm pixels and MS sensing line 6,000 pieces of 20µm pixels. FORMOSAT-5 will become a precursor of utilizing the linear CIS for a high resolution remote sensing satellite in the space community. Acquisition of on-board image compression techniques for the RSI electronic unit was another critical achievement for the program. NSPO and its partners have mastered CCSDS image format through applying DWT (Discrete Wavelet Transfer) and BPE (Bit Plane Encoder) techniques to successfully compress the high volume image data in real time. Know-hows accumulated from the RSI development experiences on design, manufacturing, alignment, and integration & test have brought NSPO and domestic partners a great confidence towards the future challenges of Taiwan's space programs.

RSI Payload - Telescope, Focal Plane Assembly (FPA), and Electronic Unit (EU)