Taiwan began designing and developing its first satellite in 1994 in collaboration with a U.S. space systems contractor. FORMOSAT-1 was launched in January 1999 and provided service until its retirement in 2004. FORMOSAT-2 was launched later in 2004, followed by FORMOSAT-3 in 2006. In 2010, FORMOSAT-5 passed design verification and now awaits deployment. FORMOSAT-5 will carry the first optical remote sensing instrument payload completely designed and developed by Taiwan itself.
Today FORMOSAT-8 is under development. This new satellite will inherit the experience from FORMOSAT-5 and will likewise carry an optical remote sensing instrument developed by Taiwan. Opto-mechanical systems integration will be led by the country’s Instrument Technology Research Center, with participation by the Opto-Mechanical Design Analysis (OMDA) Lab supervised by Professor Yi-Cheng Chen at Taiwan’s National Central University, which is responsible for weight reduction of the mirror supporting structure. To achieve the breakthrough improvements required in structural weight, the OMDA Lab is utilizing FEA-Opt Technology’s SmartDO design optimization, system integration and process automation software. Continue reading