The first remote sensing satellite developed by National Space Organization (NSPO), FORMOSAT-2, successfully launched on May 21, 2004 with a high resolution of 2 meter panchromatic data and 8 meter multispectral satellite image data. The main mission of FORMOSAT-2 is to conduct remote sensing imaging over Taiwan and on terrestrial and oceanic regions of the entire earth.
The images captured by FORMOSAT-2 during daytime can be used for land distribution, natural resources research, forestry, environmental protection, disaster prevention, rescue work, and other applications. When the satellite travels to the eclipsed zone, it will observe natural phenomena such as lighting in the upper atmosphere which can be used for further scientific experiments. FORMOSAT-2 carries both "remote sensing" and "scientific observation" tasks in its mission. The spacecraft is operating nominally as of 2006.
Image credit: EADS Astrium SAS/ NSPO (National Space Programme Office) of Taiwan
The FORMOSAT-2's Image Processing System (IPS) is independently developed by NSPO. It is designed to process images by tasking the satellite according to the user's needs. Images are then taken and downloaded through X-band antenna, then crossed with through IPS such as radiometric and geometric corrections and stored in computers. These files will be delivered to the end users based on the clients' requests.
|Imaging Data Products||• B&W: 2-m
• Color: 2-m (merge)
• Multispectral (R, G, B, NIR): 8-m
• Bundle (separate Pan and MS images)
|Spectral Bands||• P: 0.45 - 0.90 µm (Panchromatic)
• B1: 0.45 - 0.52 µm (Blue)
• B2: 0.52 - 0.60 µm (Green)
• B3: 0.63 - 0.69 µm (Red)
• B4: 0.76 - 0.90 µm (Near-infrared)
|Sensor Footprint||24 km x 24 km|
|Viewing Angles||Cross-track and along-track (forward/aft): +/- 45°|
|Satellite Tasking||Yes - Panchromatic and multispectral images can be acquired at the same time|
|Image Dynamics||8 bits/pixel|
|Image File Size
(level 1A without metadata)
|• MS: 35 Mb
• Pan: 137 Mb
FORMOSAT-2 products are available in 3 preprocessing levels:
Products are delivered in DIMAP format:
FORMOSAT-2 Mapping Applications
FORMOSAT-2 satellite images support monitoring and detecting land change for any specific region for various industries and mapping applications. Users can task the satellite to keep track by scheduling revisits to detect changes on land and infrastructures, to observe movement overtime and helps to keep a current database to know what is happening on the ground so users can make informed decisions.