Thu, Jan 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Optical tool may be behind Formosat-5 image issue

Staff writer, with CNA

Formosat-5 is seen in a California laboratory before its launch on Aug. 25 last year.

Photo courtesy of the National Space Organization

An image resolution issue that has plagued the Formosat-5 since its launch in August last yearmight be caused by problems in an optical calibration instrument, a National Space Organization (NSPO) official said yesterday.

The organization has ruled out the possibility that something happened during the transport or launch of the Formosat-5 to cause the images produced by the nation’s first domestically made satellite to be blurry and contain light spots, NSPO Deputy Director General Yu Shiann-jeng (余憲政) said.

The NSPO thinks the optical calibration instrument might be the culprit due to a possible lack of precision that is causing poor resolution, Yu said.

The instrument was purchased from abroad, and the NSPO is investigating whether the problem was caused by compatibility issues or another irregularity, Yu said.

Following initial reports in September that the satellite was producing blurry images, the NSPO assembled a team to fix the problem.

Yu in late November told reporters that the satellite’s image quality met commercial standards after adjusting the temperature and refocusing a remote-sensing instrument using a technique called deconvolution.

The satellite achieved 3m resolution for black-and-white images and 5m for multi-spectral ones.

However, that falls short of the NSPO’s goal of 2m resolution for black-and-white images and 4m multi-spectral ones.

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