Arianespace to launch Taiwan-developed satellite Triton in 2021

Taipei-A locally developed weather satellite is expected to be launched by France-based Arianespace in 2021, a source said Friday.

The satellite, named Triton, will be sent into space from the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou in French Guiana, a source familiar with the project told CNA.

After its launch along with satellites of other countries, Triton will be responsible for collecting weather data, in particular conditions regarding wind speed and marine surface wind fields, the source said.

In June, the Formosat-7 satellite cluster, also locally developed, was launched from the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida by U.S.-based SpaceX to collect more accurate worldwide meteorological data.

Arianespace, a world leading satellite launch company headquartered in Evry near Paris, beat another world famous launch service company to win the bid to help Taiwan launch the satellite after the National Space Organization (NSPO) opened the project to public tender.

NSPO Deputy Director-General Yu Shiann-jen (???) said that 87 percent of Triton's components are locally developed, a ratio even higher than the 78 percent in Formosat-5 -- Taiwan's first domestically built satellite that was launched by SpaceX from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in 2017 and began commercial operations in September last year.

According to Yu, some of the technologies used in Formosat-5, after being verified and improved, will be applied to Triton, and those verified by Triton will in turn be applied to Formosat-8 in the future.

The 300-kilogram Triton will mainly observe changes in wind speed and wave height, and it can also detect soil water conditions to help farmers improve their harvests, Yu said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel