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Taiwan to launch first homegrown weather satellite in 2023

TRITON to boost country’s grasp of ocean surface winds and thus better typhoon forecasts

Display of a TRITON model.

Display of a TRITON model. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan is set to launch its first indigenously-developed meteorological satellite next March from French Guiana.

TRITON, the name of the satellite, was designed and made by the National Space Organization (NSPO). After eight years in the making, the satellite has completed testing and is undergoing review.

The satellite will be transported to the Guiana Space Center, a European spaceport in French Guiana, a region of France in South America, in January. TRITON will be carried by a Vega C rocket, manufactured by France’s Arianespace, and is scheduled to launch in March.

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) will inspect the final preparations of the satellite, Taiwan’s second homegrown satellite after Formosat-5, a remote-sensing satellite, on Monday (Nov. 7).

TRITON’s launch marks a milestone for Taiwan in its bid to enhance its weather research and forecast capabilities.

Fitted with the Global Navigation Satellite System-Reflectometry (GNSS-R), a technique that uses reflected GNSS signals to derive information about the Earth’s surface, the satellite allows for a better understanding of environmental conditions. This will contribute to more precise weather analysis of ocean surface winds for a country prone to typhoons, according to NSPO.