Incubating Domestic Space-Qualified Manufacturers Through ROCSAT Programs
Taiwan’s space program started from 1991. There was no space-qualified manufacturer in Taiwan before that time. The Government decided to incubate domestic space-qualified manufacturers in Taiwan through the development of space program. Consequently, the Government assigned the role of incubating domestic space-qualified manufacturers to the National Space Organization (NSPO). The role is partly completed after 16 years of effort. Major reasons are that Taiwan’s space budget is small and all manufacturers are commercially oriented. Fortunately there are still some successful examples. This paper reviews the process of incubating Taiwan’s domestic space-qualified manufacturers through ROCSAT space projects (currently called FORMOSAT projects) and introduces the successful examples. It then foresees the potential “blue sea” (or say blue ocean) of NSPO’s future space program. There were three space projects in Taiwan’s first phase space program which spans 15 years from 1991 to 2006: FORMOSAT-1 (FS1), FORMOSAT-2 (FS2) and FORMOSAT-3 (FS3). A total of 8 companies had been incubated with 23 products manufactured: 5 in FS1, 8 in FS2 and 10 in FS3. Among the 8 incubated companies, 6 continue to participate NSPO’s second phase space program started at 2004 and shall end in 2018. Simply speaking, NSPO’s experience can be summarized in two points: (1) it is not easy, and (2) it is a long but right way to go. For the potential “blue sea” in the future, NSPO’s is developing the “super cluster project” currently. Tens or hundreds or thousands of cheap microsatellites called “astrochicken” with about 2 years of mission life shall be launched for various missions. One important point is that they must be very responsive. Under this strategy, Taiwan could be able to copy its successful experience in developing computer industry.
KeywordsSilicon Solar Cell Space Program Space Industry Current Converter International Ultraviolet Explorer
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