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Taiwan’s First Domestic Weather Satellite

Image credit: ocac.gov.tw
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The Taiwan Space Agency (TASA) announced that a domestically developed weather satellite will depart Taiwan for French Guiana, where it will be launched into space in September. The Triton (also known as the Wind-Hunter Satellite) will launch into orbit on an Arianespace Vega C rideshare mission, according to the TASA.

Fifteen inspectors had finished their final inspections and a pre-shipment examination was started in mid-June to get the satellite ready as a payload.

The two-day assessment, according to Lin Chen-tsung, project manager for Triton, included assembly testing, instrument verification, and environment adaption tests. Additionally, tests were done to assure that the ground computers in charge of commanding the satellite will function properly.

The TASA added that the satellite was approved to be transported after inspections and follow-up questions from the review board. Lin stated that the review found all the parametres to be up to par. With this, digital technology is essential to the efficient operation of ground-based computers that manage satellites.

The software systems on ground computers are powerful and made specifically for satellite operations. These systems have telemetry, tracking, and commanding capabilities, among other functionalities. Since the software is specifically designed and tested to handle satellite control’s unique needs, smooth operation and precise communication between ground computers and satellites are guaranteed.

Remote monitoring and control of ground computers are made possible by digital technology. Operators don’t need to be close to the satellite because they can access and administer the satellite systems from a central control centre. This enables ongoing monitoring, prompt reaction to anomalies, and effective problem-solving if any problems do develop.

To make operations more efficient, ground computers frequently use automation and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. By automating regular operations like data processing, anomaly detection, and system health monitoring, automation reduces the chance of human mistakes.

Large data sets can be analysed by AI algorithms, which can also spot trends and predict outcomes. This allows for proactive maintenance and increases system reliability overall.

Redundancy and fault tolerance methods are made easier by digital technology in ground computer systems. Redundancy includes creating duplicates of crucial parts and systems to make sure that in the event of a failure, the remaining components can function normally.

Advanced encryption techniques and secure communication channels are used by digital technology to safeguard the transmission of instructions, telemetry, and sensitive data between ground computers and satellites. This reduces the possibility of unauthorised access or tampering and assures the shared information’s integrity, confidentiality, and validity.

Before deploying a satellite, thorough testing and simulation are possible thanks to digital technology. Software simulators that imitate satellite behaviour, weather circumstances, and operating situations are used to put ground computers through rigorous testing. As a result, any problems or inefficiencies can be found and fixed before actual satellite control.

Further, the Triton project was started in 2014, and after eight years of arduous work, it has now reached the launch phase, according to TASA Director-General Wu Jong-shinn.

According to Wu, Triton was the first weather satellite designed and produced entirely domestically, incorporating Taiwan’s GNSS-R (Global Navigation Satellite System-Reflectometry).

The TASA and the Central Weather Bureau, along with other technological and meteorological specialists, created the GNSS-R data processing module to gather sea surface wind data that will be coupled with ground radar wind field data to anticipate typhoon routes and heavy rains more precisely.

According to the TASA, Triton will be launched into a spherical low-earth orbit at a height of between 550 and 650 kilometres.

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