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FORMOSAT-8 Program Description Satellite Payloads Key Components


Program Description

FORMOSAT-8 Program is one of the priority missions from the 3rd phase of the “National Space Technology Long-Term Development Program” in Taiwan (3rd phase space program). FORMOSAT-8 Program is also declared as the first initiated remote sensing satellite program from the 3rd phase space program with the generic bus platform to serve as the common platform for all of the satellite missions in the 3rd phase space program. 

FORMOSAT-8 program develops six high-resolution optical remote sensing satellites with a resolution of 1 meter. These satellites are deployed in the sun-synchronous orbit to form a constellation, and the sub-meter resolution is achieved through the Super Resolution method of ground image post-processing. The constellation deployment can provide multiple daily revisit capabilities and global coverage of satellite images (including stereoscopic images) as well as dynamic monitoring information to achieve real-time satellite resource requirements. Due to COVID-19 pandemic impact, the first and second satellites of FORMOSAT-8 are planned to be launched in 2024 and 2025; the third and fourth satellites will be launched in 2026 and 2027; the fifth and sixth satellites will be launched in 2028 and 2029.

  • 2025

    November - FORMOSAT-8B is planned to be launched

  • 2024

    November - FORMOSAT-8A is planned to be launched.

  • 2022

    March - Completed FS-8B science payload Critical Design Review(CDR).

  • 2021

    August - Completed FS-8A science payload Critical Design Review(CDR).

    August - Completed FS-8A Structural testing Model (STM) verification.

    June - FORMOSAT-8 Launch Services Contract was officially effective.

  • 2020

    December - Satellite Integration and Test Readiness Review(ITR) meeting was completed.

    December - Launch Service Contract was signed.

    September - Satellite Delta-Critical Design Review(delta-CDR) meeting was completed.

    September - Satellite Operation Control System Acceptance Review (SAR) meeting was completed.

    March - Program Office was officially established on 1st March, 2019.

  • 2019

    December - Satellite Critical Design Review (CDR) meeting was completed.

    December - Engineering models and functional tests of key components were accomplished, as well as core technologies of ground systems.

    March - FORMOSAT-8 Program Office was officially established on 1st March, 2019.

  • 2018

    December - Prototypes/Elegant Bread Broads (EBB) of key components and their performance tests were accomplished, as well as core technologies of ground systems.

    November - Satellite Preliminary Design Review (PDR) meeting was completed.

  • 2017

    December - Satellite System Design Review (SDR) meetings were completed.

    June - Satellite Mission Definition Review (MDR) meetings were completed.

    March - “MicroSat Program”was the previous project and funded by “Taiwan New Space Industry Pilot Program” from Executive Yuan, R.O.C. The development of indigenous key components and satellite system design were kicked off.


Item Description
Mission Orbit Altitude ~561 km, sun-synchronous
Mission Life 3 years (Goal: 5 years)
Local Time of the Descending Node(LTDN) 10:00 ~11:00 or 13:00~14:00
Revisit Frequency 1 day (Locally and Globally)
GSD 1m(PAN), 2m(MS)
Swath  ≧ 10Km
Bands 1 PAN + 4 MS
System Contrast Transfer Function (CTF)  ≧ 0.07(PAN)
 Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) ≧ 80 (PAN)
RSI Duty Cycle ≧ 8%
Weight 380 kg
Agility Roll:  80o/60 sec, Pitch: 80o/60 sec, Yaw: 50o/60 sec
Pointing accuracy <0.026o
Pointing knowledge 0.012o
Image geo-accuracy  304m without GCP
Image data downlink rate 500 Mbps
Image data storage 512 Gbits
Field of Regard  45o


Regarding to the increasing newly space technologies are under development, besides Remote Sensing Payload, Science Payload and Advanced Secondary Payload will be developed to demonstrate the pioneer space technologies.

Remote Sensing Payload

Items Specifications
Spectral Bands One panchromatic band and at least four multi-spectral bands
Ground Sampling Distance (GSD) Panchromatic band: 1m @ nadir 
Multi-spectral bands: 2m @ nadir
Swath Width ≧10 km @ nadir
RSI Duty Cycle ≧8% per operational orbit
RSI System Contrast Transfer Function (CTF) ≧0.14 @ 1m (PAN)
≧0.26 @ 2m (MS)
RSI Spectral Range PAN: 450~800 nm
Blue: 450‐520 nm
Green: 520‐590 nm
Red: 630‐690 nm
NIR: 770‐890 nm
RSI Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) PAN: ≧80 
Blue: ≧90 
Green: ≧90
Red: ≧90
NIR: ≧90
Image Data Storage ≧512 Gbits

Science Payload

FORMOSAT-8A Science Payloads are Dual-band Imager of Atmospheric Transient (DIAT) and Electron Temperature and Density Probe(TeNeP) which will be developed by National Cheng Kung University. The study focuses on the topics of atmospheric electricity, ionospheric physics and high energy physics.

Advanced Secondary Payload

FORMOSAT-8B Science Payloads are Gamma-ray Transients Monitor (GTM) which will be developed by National Tsing Hua University.

Key Components

Combining the advanced R&D capacity of research and academia communities and the manufacturing capacity of the industry in Taiwan to form a domestic industry-academia-research cooperation team, TASA carries out R&D for satellite key components with their corresponding space-grade verifications for FORMOSAT-8 program. At the same time, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) satellite parts are used to improve component self-manufacturing rate and reduce costs, and establish a standard interface with modular design to effectively save labor and time. Through the development of a generic satellite bus platform, the participation of domestic industry, academia and research will be expanded, and the prototype structure of the space industry supply chain in Taiwan will be built to achieve the goal of indigenous key components, thereby laying the foundation for the Taiwan space industry.

The research and development of key components are divided into four categories: "optical payload components", "flight control components", "electric components", and "mechanical components". Development items of "optical payload components" include optical primary / secondary mirrors, optical filters, corrective lenses, FPA area sensors, EU electronic units, optical focusing mechanisms, ultra-low moisture absorption carbon fiber composite materials, etc. Development items of "flight control components" include GPS receivers, MEMS inertial reference units, star trackers, reaction wheels, etc. Development items of "electric components" include on-board computers, power control units, X-band transmitters, X-band antennas, solar cells, solar panels, etc. Development items of "mechanical components" include H2O2 propulsion modules (with thruster modules, propellant filters, propellant tanks, ball latching valves, pressure transducers), solar panel deployment mechanisms, dampers, thermoelectric coolers, phase-change thermal control modules, etc.

In addition to TASA, the FORMOSAT-8 program is jointly completed by domestic industry, academic, and research related units.