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1st Taiwan-made weather satellite passes inspection before launch

Satellite will launch from French Guiana on rideshare mission with Ariane Space

The Wind Hunter satellite. (Facebook, TASA photo)

The Wind Hunter satellite. (Facebook, TASA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The first Taiwan-made weather satellite has completed its final inspection before it departs for French Guiana, where it will launch into space in September.

The weather satellite, named "Wind Hunter," is eight years in the making and has been cleared for transport to the South American French colony, the Taiwan Space Agency (TASA) said on Monday (July 10), per CNA. TASA Director-General Wu Jong-shinn (吳宗信) said that the satellite passing this inspection is an important milestone for the project that began in 2014, and the satellite will perform meteorological and other scientific research work.

According to TASA, the satellite will conduct research on air-sea interactions to help better predict typhoons. “Taiwan is greatly affected by typhoons every year. The information of sea wave height and sea surface wind speed, retrieved from the reflected signal, is useful for research on typhoon intensity and path prediction,” according to TASA’s website.

The satellite will orbit the earth between 550 and 650 kilometers above the surface and will transmit other data back to National Cheng Kung and National Central Universities for further research. TASA said the satellite will initially collect data from low-latitude areas of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.

The satellite will be launched from the Guiana Space Center using French company Ariane Space’s Vega C rocket, which was developed as part of the European Union’s space program.