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FormoSat-5 functioning as expected: science minister

2017/09/20 19:02:02

Chen Liang-gee (陳良基)

Taipei, Sept. 20 (CNA) Taiwan's FormoSat-5 satellite is performing as expected, even with the problem of burred images, Science and Technology Minister Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) said Wednesday.

The satellite is in an adjustment period, as is required for all science and technology programs, Chen said, commenting on a report by the National Space Organization (NSPO) the previous day that the first photos taken by FormoSat-5 were fuzzy and marred by light spots.

The problem is one of photo resolution and was not caused by human error, Chen said, adding that the satellite is currently functioning well and he would give a 80-90 score to the NSPO team.

He said all the tests that were done before the launch of Taiwan's first indigenous satellite last month were carried in simulated conditions, therefore, some adjustments will be necessary to make sure it is fully functional in space.

The NSPO, which designed and built the satellite, is looking at ways to deal with the issues of blurry photos and light spots, including adjusting FormoSat-5's position and interior temperature, Chen noted.

Even with the resolution problem, however, the data currently provided by the satellite is still clear enough to be used for natural disaster prevention, he said.

According to Wu Kuang-chong (吳光鐘), vice president of National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs), the current assessment is that the image adjustment process will take about two to three months to complete.

FormoSat-5 was designed to serve a five-year mission, providing data that can be used for national security, geopolitical, scientific and academic purposes.

(By Huang Li-yun and Kuan-lin Liu)