Permission to Retire!
FORMOSAT-2 was the second high-resolution Earth observation satellite for the Taiwanese National Space Programme Office (NSPO). The mission of the satellite was regional remote sensing – to collect data to be used for natural disaster evaluation, agricultural applications, urban planning strategy, environmental monitoring and ocean surveillance.
Originally designed for a five-year mission in May 2004, FORMOSAT-2 has operated for more than 12 years. During its lifetime, the satellite has captured 2.55 million images and is best known for acquiring critical imagery of Taiwan before and after Typhoon Morakot devastated the island in 2009.
For more than 2 years, Airbus Defence and Space has been tasking the FORMOSAT-2 satellite every month to acquire imagery of the Lusi mud volcano in Java. Two SPOT 5 and 20 FORMOSAT-2 images have been analysed and compared to monitor the volcano’s behaviour, documenting the Indonesian authorities’ efforts to dam and channel the mudflow.
FORMOSAT-2 imagery has been easily exploitable and of great value for crop monitoring. Its blue spectral band has been a precious aid for agricultural applications, such:
- Target different stages of crop growth for precision agriculture
- Support production management for crop yield monitoring
- Detect and monitor illegal crops
- Monitor rice crops (daily revisits)
- Keep track of projects in forest environments (infrastructures, logging, reconversion)
The satellite has now reached its end-of-life and has been deemed unrepairable.
Our long and successful collaboration with NSPO has paved the way for the satellite partnership programme that is now gearing up at Airbus Defence and Space through the collaboration with KGS for KazEOSat missions.