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COMS (Communication,Ocean and Meteorological Satellite)

5-7-10-- 8-12-10

The COMS-1 satellite finally achieved it desired orbital position at 128.2 degrees east longitude on about July 5, 2010 after its successful launch from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana on an Ariane-5 booster.

South Korea’s according to the Education, Science and Technology, Ministry plans to launch its first Korean Meteorological Administration (KMA), Weather Communication COMS satellite combination in March 2010. The COMS launch has now slipped to November 2010 for the Ariane-5 launch to geo-stationary orbit. It was jointly developed and produced by the (KARI) Korean Aerospace Research Institute which under the ministry heads the space effort and the Astrium Satellite Corporation of France. The satellite is to be launch from the French, Guiana on the Guiana Space Center launch complex off the South American coast near the equator. A total of 355.8 billion Won or about $304.6 million Dollars are being utilized during the seven years of development through flight. The intent is to provide much more reliable weather and oceanic information as well as provide added communications satellite capability for the nation.

A long-term plan of the National Space Program was established in 1996 and revised in 2000 to accommodate the public and civilian demand for satellite utilization and keep the continuity of satellite services. The plan prospects the details of the future space activities of Korea until 2015 and serves as a basis for space development in Korea. The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) has been developing the Communication, Ocean, and Meteorological Satellite (COMS) in conformity with the National Space Development Plan. The COMS program is the only geo-stationary satellite program with the meteorological mission in Korea.

Four Ministries in Korea government are involved for COMS development. Each Ministry is responsible for individual requirements and development objectives such as the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) for satellite system and BUS development, Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) for communication payload and satellite control system development, Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MOMAF) for ocean color sensor development, and KMA for meteorological payload development.

There are two geo-stationary satellites planned in the National Space Development Plan. The feasibility study for COMS has begun in 2001, and the preliminary analysis started in 2002, followed by the main COMS development period lasted until 2008. The scope of the feasibility study includes establishment of the user's requirement, mission concept, operation concept, and performance requirement as well as cost, schedule and risk estimation. The COMS conceptual design, generation of system requirements and establishment of the cooperation plan with foreign manufacturers have been performed in the preliminary analysis.

The first COMS was planned to launch at the end of 2008, and the second one was planned in 2014. According to the development schedule, the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) for COMS was completed in January 2006. The first Communication, Ocean, and Meteorological Satellite (COMS) was scheduled to be launched in 2008 into a geostationary orbit based on the National Long-term Space Development Plan of Korea. COMS is planned to begin operating around the end of year 2008 at one of the orbital positions, 116.2E or 128.2E.

COMS has three payloads; one for meteorology, another for ocean observation and the other for experimental communications in Ka-bands. Each of these missions is implemented with a dedicated payload. The Meteorological Imager will be procured by ITT, the Geo-stationary Ocean Color Imager will be developed by EADS Astrium, while the Ka-Band communication payload will be in-house development of Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute(ETRI). COMS will provide meteorological data to end-users around the world, oceanography data for the Korean peninsula and experimental communications services in Ka-band.

The first mission is a real-time observation and early detection of severe weather phenomena from Meteorological Imager (MI), which provides observation data taking account of weather forecasting and monitoring of climate change on the geo-stationary orbit for the public services. The second is monitoring of marine environment ecosystem from Geo-stationary Ocean Color Imager (GOCI) around the Korean peninsula, and the third is the in-orbit verification of the space technology, which is developed for the communication payload.

For the meteorological mission, Meteorological Imager developed by ITT is selected as the meteorological payload on COMS. The imager is a multi-spectral channel two-axis scanning radiometer, and is capable of providing imagery and radiometric information of the Earth's surface and cloud cover over 5-channels - one visible channel (1km ground resolution) and 4 infrared channels (4km resolution). The observation is planned to be performed as 3 different modes. The global mode takes images of full earth disk, regional mode takes images of the Asia and Pacific in Northern Hemisphere, the Extended Northern Hemisphere, and the Limited Southern Hemisphere every 30 minutes. The local mode covers an image field of 1000 km x 1000 km with 10 minutes interval for monitoring of local severe weather.

Program prime contractor Astrium Satellites built COMS-1 using a Eurostar 3000 platform fitted with a meteorological imager and an ocean observation payload. The experimental telecom payload is supplied by KARI. COMS is geo-synchronous and three-axis stabilized satellite. Its dry mass is estimated 2500 kg, 3 kW of electrical power. The expected operation life is more than 7 years with 0.75 reliability at the end of the life. The three payloads loaded on COMS should be operable simultaneously without any interference and performance degradation.

On 05 December 2006 the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) announced it had chosen Arianespace to launch its COMS-1 multi mission satellite. Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace, and Dr. Hong-Yul Paik, President of KARI, signed a launch service contract to place the COMS-1 satellite into geo-stationary transfer orbit by an Ariane 5 from the Guiana Space Center, Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, between the end of 2008 and June 2009.

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Page last modified: 21-07-2011 00:52:47 ZULU