Taiwan builds sensitive satellite equipment

Feb 25, 2014

Taiwan has successfully developed a key satellite component whose export is controlled by space powers, an official said Tuesday, calling it a "milestone" in efforts to build its own space technology.

Three Taiwanese research and launched between 1999 and 2006 were designed abroad.

A fourth scheduled to be launched next year will be 60 percent locally made.

But Taiwan had not previously managed to build equipment to receive signals from global positioning systems.

On Tuesday the National Space Organisation (NSPO) announced it has developed the equipment, which is on the export control list of space powers like the United States, France and Germany.

"This is truly a milestone in efforts to build our own ," Tom Lin, an official at the NSPO flight control division, told AFP.

"In the past, export of such sensitive equipment required government approvals, thus adding uncertainty to our projects," he said.

The equipment will be installed on a fifth satellite called Formosa-7, which is due to be launched in 2018.

Lin also said the NSPO is striving to develop "high-resolution" satellites that transmit photos with one-metre resolution, compared to the current two metres.

However he said the NSPO has not been tasked by the government to develop spy satellites, although local media have said those now in operation could be used for military purposes whenever needed.

In the face of a growing missile build-up by former rival China, Taiwan has been working to deploy a missile defence system. But analysts say this would be impossible without its own spy satellites.

Tensions have eased markedly in recent years but China still considers Taiwan part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

Taiwanese experts estimate China has more than 1,600 missiles aimed at the island.

Explore further: Rosetta spacecraft sees sinkholes on comet

Related Stories

Taiwan to open new cyberwar unit

May 29, 2013

Taiwan is preparing to launch a fourth cyberwar unit, a local newspaper reported Wednesday, in response to what it claims is a growing security threat from Chinese hackers.

China's satellite navigation system live

Dec 27, 2011

China's home-grown satellite navigation system launched a limited positioning service Tuesday, the official Xinhua news agency said, as the country seeks to break its dependence on foreign technology.

Taiwan to step up cyberwar capabilities: report

Sep 02, 2012

Taiwan plans to beef up its cyberwar capabilities to counter a perceived threat from Chinese hackers targeting government and security websites, local media reported Sunday.

Recommended for you

Rosetta spacecraft sees sinkholes on comet

42 minutes ago

The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft first began orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014. Almost immediately, scientists began to wonder about several surprisingly deep, almost perfectly ...

Me and my world: The human factor in space

3 hours ago

The world around us is defined by how we interact with it. But what if our world was out of this world? As part of NASA's One-Year Mission, researchers are studying how astronauts interact with the "world" ...

Radar guards against space debris

4 hours ago

Space debris poses a growing threat to satellites and other spacecraft, which could be damaged in the event of a collision. A new German space surveillance system, schedu- led to go into operation in 2018, will help to prevent ...

Why we need to keep adding leap seconds

6 hours ago

Today at precisely 10am Australian Eastern Standard time, something chronologically peculiar will take place: there'll be an extra second between 09:59:59 and 10:00:00.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.