The Korea Herald

소아쌤

New meteorological satellite gets preliminary OK

Satellite to be launched to space in 2031

By Lee Jung-joo

Published : May 23, 2024 - 15:23

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This photo is a rendering of Chollian-2A, South Korea's second geostationary meteorological satellite launched in 2018. (Korea Aerospace Research Institute) This photo is a rendering of Chollian-2A, South Korea's second geostationary meteorological satellite launched in 2018. (Korea Aerospace Research Institute)

The Chollian-5 is set to become South Korea’s third geostationary meteorological satellite, as it passed a preliminary feasibility study Thursday, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration and the Ministry of Science and ICT.

According to the KMA and the Science and ICT Ministry, a total budget of 680 billion won ($499 million) will be invested in developing the satellite, following the results of the feasibility study. If things go according to the plan, the new satellite will be launched in 2031.

The development of the Chollian-5 comes as current meteorological satellite in operation, or the Chollian-2A, reaches the end of its lifespan. The Chollian-2A, designed to monitor space weather and terrestrial meteorology, is built to operate until 2029.

The Chollian-5, unlike the Chollian-2A, will have 18 built-in observation channels to observe weather patterns in more detail than the current satellite. Its spatial resolution will also be four times higher than its predecessor, enabling short-term weather forecasts at the neighborhood level and a localized detection of forest fires and heavy rainfall.

Before the Chollian-5, Korea launched the Chollian-1 in 2010 and Chollian-2A in 2018, respectively. The Chollian-1 was designed for oceanography, meteorological observations and satellite communications, and the Chollian-2A focused on monitoring space weather and terrestrial meteorology. It also launched the Chollian-2B, a geostationary environmental monitoring satellite, in 2020 to track environmental pollutants such as fine and yellow dust as well as monitor marine conditions around the Korean Peninsula for 10 years.

The KMA had planned to develop the Chollian-5 from 2023 to replace the Chollian-2A at the end of its lifespan. However, this plan was delayed as it failed to pass a feasibility study in 2021.