Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has delivered the first spacecraft for the FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2 weather forecasting constellation to the National Space Organization (NSPO) in Taiwan, where it has successfully passed a series of systems checks.

The FORMOSAT-7 spacecraft has been designed by SSTL using heritage avionics and it has been assembled at the Company’s cleanroom facilities in the United Kingdom, where SSTL is currently building the remaining FORMOSAT-7 platforms for the constellation. The payloads for the spacecraft are being supplied by NSPO’s mission partner, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States, and they will be integrated to the platforms in Taiwan where a full set of spacecraft system tests will be performed.

Luis Gomes, Director of Earth Observation at SSTL, commented “The delivery of the first of the FORMOSAT-7 spacecraft to our customer is an important milestone in the programme, and we were very pleased to hear that it has arrived safely and in full working order. SSTL is continuing to work on the assembly of an additional five platforms for the constellation at our cleanrooms here in the UK and at the NSPO site in Taiwan, where our engineers are involved in the next phase of payload integration and testing, so it’s an extremely busy phase in the mission for the collaborative team.”

The FORMOSAT-7 constellation is a joint civil mission between the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) and the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). NSPO and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States are the designated representatives of TECRO and AIT respectively. The new constellation will collect atmospheric data at low and mid latitudes and improve both regional and global weather forecasting for over 5000 registered users of the data across the globe. It will also provide scientific data in support of climate studies and ionospheric science. Launch is targeted from 2016.

About SSTL

Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) is the world’s leading small satellite company, delivering operational space missions for a range of applications including Earth observation, science and communications. The Company designs, manufactures and operates high performance satellites and ground systems for a fraction of the price normally associated with space missions, with over 500 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments.

Since 1981, SSTL has built and launched 43 satellites – as well as providing training and development programmes, consultancy services, and mission studies for ESA, NASA , international governments and commercial customers, with an innovative approach that is changing the economics of space.

Headquartered in Guildford, UK, SSTL is part of the Airbus Group.