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Taiwan creates its first space-based GPS receiver

Taiwan: Scientists in Taiwan have developed the nation's first space-based GPS receiver, which boasts several improvements over versions obtainable from overseas and can help cut the country's reliance on foreign imports. “The first locally developed space-borne GPS receiver, which helps satellites navigate in space, is expected to offer more freedom and independence for space missions, as exports of such products are normally kept under tight control by countries around the world,” said Chang Guey-shin, Head, Taiwan's National Space Organization (NSPO). The device is also expected to drive the development of space missions, which used to suffer serious delays due to the time required — from three to six months for Taiwan to gain approval for imports.

The newly developed device will join the FORMOSAT-7 programme, collaboration between the NSPO and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The FORM0SAT-7 program involves a group of 13 weather satellites — 12 mission-specific orientated satellites and one NSPO-built satellite. The locally developed GPS receiver will be loaded onto the NSPO-built satellite, which is scheduled to be launched in 2018 or 2019. In contrast to existing versions, which weigh 2-3 kilograms and cost around NT$20 million ($658,420) to build, the new device weighs just 0.8 kg and costs NT$6 million to manufacture.

Source: Focus Taiwan