TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's FormoSat-7 satellite constellation has been vital to increasing the accuracy of domestic weather prediction, Central Weather Bureau (CWB) Director-General Cheng Ming-dean (鄭明典) said Thursday (April 8).
Cheng said in a Facebook post that the FormoSat-7 satellites, which were jointly built by Taiwan and the U.S., have performed outstandingly compared to satellites from other countries. Despite costing 90 percent less than most other weather satellites, they have contributed valuable data to the bureau, he said.
Launched from Florida by SpaceX into a 720-kilometer circular orbit in June 2019, the six FormoSat-7 satellites were gradually moved into their designated mission orbits of 550 km over a period of 18 months. The process was completed on Feb. 3.
According to the National Space Organization, FormoSat-7 can receive GPS signals from the U.S. as well as GLONASS signals from Russia. It is capable of providing an average of 4,000 points of atmospheric data per day, covering measurements such as atmospheric temperature, humidity, pressure, rainfall, and the formation of typhoons.
Besides the CWB, research teams at Taiwan's National Central University and National Cheng Kung University, the U.S.' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, as well as meteorological centers around the world, are using data collected by FormoSat-7.