Introduction to COMS

The Communication, Ocean and Meteorological Satellite (COMS) is the first geostationary multi-purpose satellite of South Korea stationed at an altitude of 36,000 km above the Earth’s equator with a longitude of 128.2°E. It performs the duties of meteorological and ocean observations and communications services.

COMS was developed as a joint project initiated in 2003 by the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), Ministry of Education, Science & Technology (MOEST), Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs (MOLIT), and Korea Communications Commission (KCC) in accordance with the mid and long-term national space development plan.

The Korea Aerospace Research Institute is the project leader and responsible for the overall development. Foreign partners involved are EDAS Astrium of France and ITT of the United States.

It was successfully launched from the Guiana Space Center, Kourou in French Guiana, South America on June 27, 2010.

COMS Structure
COMS Structure

COMS configuration

- Dimensions: 2.2 × 2.4 × 2.6m
- Mass at launch: 2.5 tons
- Operational life: 7 years
- Manufactured by: The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) Astrium of France

Changes in the Development of the Geostationary Meteorological Satellite

Before the COMS Launch

- Meteorological satellite data were received from Japan and other countries every 30 minutes
- Observation areas and times could not be adjusted, and simple image analysis was used for forecasting.

After the COMS Launch

- The meteorological satellite can conduct intensive monitoring over the Korean peninsula, with a maximum interval of 8-minutes under extreme weather conditions.
- In case of extreme weather, observation areas and times can be adjusted independently around the Korean peninsula.
- It is possible to use our own data processing systems for generating data, supporting image analysis, and performing numerical forecasting.

COMS Mission

Meteorological Mission

- Continuous monitoring of imagery and extraction of meteorological products
- Early detection of severe weather phenomena
- Monitoring of climate change and the atmospheric environment

Sample images from 5 channels of the COMS meteorological imager

Maritime Mission

- Monitoring of the ocean environment and ecology of seas surrounding the Korean peninsula
- Generation of chlorophyll production estimates and fishery information

COMS Ocean Monitoring Mission: (L) Analysis of turbid water off the Chinese coasts (R) Analysis of movements of red tides off the East Coast

COMS Communications Mission

- Broadband satellite multimedia testing services
- Space certification for Korean Ka-band Transponders

Service areas of the COMS Communications Repeater

Meteorological Payload Overview

Production: ITT of the United States

It has similar performance characteristics to the meteorological sensors mounted on the US’s GOES-8 to 13 and Japan’s MTSAT-2.

Basic Performance Data

Basic Performance Data
Number of Channels 5 channels (1 visible, 4 infrared)
Observation Period Less than 27 minutes
Data from Each Channel
Channels Wavelength(㎛) Spatial Resolution Applications
Visible 0.67 1 Km Weekly cloud images, Asian dust, forest fires, fog observation, atmospheric motion vector
Shortwave infrared 3.7 4 Km Night fog & low-level clouds, forest fire detection, land surface temperature
Water vapor 6.7 4 Km Observation of mid and upper atmospheric humidity & upper atmospheric motions
Infrared 1 10.8 4 Km Cloud information, sea surface temperature, Asian dust observation
Infrared 2 12.0 4 Km Cloud information, sea surface temperature, Asian dust observation

24-hr continuous monitoring of weather changes, along with Korea’s first 24-hr continuous observation secured by infrared channels

COMS Meteorological Data Processing System (CMDPS) Development

- Generation of 16 types of analysis data using the L1B data of COMS
- The data are used as input data for weather forecasting, numerical forecasting, and climate change prediction.
- The CMDPS calculates meteorological parameters.

CMDPS Development
Computation Sources Content Applications
Cloud detection Presence of clouds information Weather and numerical forecasting
Clear sky radiance Estimation of radiation level in cloud-free region Weather and numerical forecasting
Atmospheric motion vector Trace movement path of water vapor Numerical forecasting
Sea surface temperature Sea surface temperature Numerical forecasting & climate monitoring, ocean
Land surface temperature Land surface temperatures of regions in East Asia Numerical forecasting & climate monitoring
Sea Ice/Snow detection Estimate sea ice & snow covered regions Numerical forecasting & climate monitoring, Asian dust prediction
Insolation Solar energy reaching the ground Agricultural meteorology, climate research
Upper tropospheric humidity Vapor amount in the upper troposphere Numerical forecasting & climate monitoring
Total precipitable water Total vapor amount in troposphere Numerical forecasting & climate monitoring
Cloud analysis Estimation of shapes & amount of clouds & characteristics of cloud particles Numerical forecasting & climate monitoring
Cloud top temperatures & heights Estimate the temperatures & heights at the cloud tops Numerical forecasting & climate monitoring
Fog Fog detection by separating low cloud and fog Aviation meteorology
Rainfall intensity Rainfall intensity depending on the types of clouds Weather and numerical forecasting
Outgoing long-wave radiation Estimation of earth’s long-wave radiation at the top of the atmosphere Numerical forecasting & climate monitoring
Aerosol index Observation of Asian dust in the atmosphere Asian dust forecasting & environment monitoring
Aerosol optical depth Estimation of atmospheric turbidity due to aerosol Asian dust forecasting, environment monitoring, & climate research
CMDPS Concept