Introduction of COMS (Communication, Ocean and Meteorological Satellite)

Korea’s first geostationary multi-purpose satellite which is stationed at an altitude of 36,000 km above the Earth’s equator and at a longitude of 128.2°E performing the duties of meteorological and ocean observations and communications services.

A joint project that started in 2003 by the KMA (Korea Meteorological Administration), MEST (Ministry of Education, Science & Technology), MLTM (Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs), and KCC (Korea Communications Commission) in accordance with the Mid and Long-term National Space Development Plan.

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

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

Structure of COMS
Structure of COMS

COMS configuration

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

Changes brought on with development of geostationary meteorological satellite

Before the launch of COMS

- Received meteorological satellite data from Japan and other countries every 30 minutes
- Observation areas and observation times could not be adjusted Forecasts based on simple image analysis were possible

After the launch of COMS

- The operation of our own meteorological satellite made intensive monitoring of extreme weather conditions possible through observing over the Korean peninsula with maximum 8-minute interval.
- In case of an extreme weather situation, it is possible to adjust independently the observation areas and times around the Korean peninsula.
- It is possible to generate data to support image analysis, our own data processing systems, and a numerical forecast.

Missions of COMS

Meteorological Missions

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

Sample images of 5 channels of the COMS meteorological imager

Maritime Missions

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

Oceans monitoring mission of COMS: (L) Analysis of the turbid water off Chinese coasts (R) Analysis of the movements of red tides off the East Coast

Communications Missions

- Broadband satellite multimedia testing services
- Korean Ka-band Transponders space certification

Service areas of communications repeater of COMS

Overview of Meteorological Payload

Production: ITT of the United States

It has the same performance characteristics as the meteorological sensors mounted on GOES-8 ~ 13 of the U.S. and MTSAT-2 of Japan.

Basic Performance Data

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

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

COMS Meteorological Data Processing System (CMDPS) Development

- Generation of 16 types of analysis data using the L1B data of COMS
- Data used in weather forecasting & numerical forecasting input data, prediction of climate changes
- Meteorological Data Processing System calculates meteorological elements

CMDPS Development
Computation Sources Contents Applications
Cloud detection Presence of clouds information Weather and numerical forecast
Clear sky radiance Estimation of radiation level in cloud-free region Weather and numerical forecast
Atmospheric motion vector Trace movement path of water vapor Numerical forecast
Sea surface temperature Sea surface temperature Numerical forecast & climate monitoring, ocean
Land surface temperature Land surface temperatures of regions in East Asia Numerical forecast & climate monitoring
Sea Ice/Snow detection Estimate sea ice & snow covered regions Numerical forecast & 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 forecast & climate monitoring
Total precipitable water Total vapor amount in troposphere Numerical forecast & climate monitoring
Cloud analysis Estimation of shapes & amount of clouds & characteristics of cloud particles Numerical forecast & climate monitoring
Cloud top temperatures & heights Estimate the temperatures & heights at the cloud tops Numerical forecast & 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 forecast
Outgoing long-wave radiation Estimation of earth’s long-wave radiation at the top of the atmosphere Numerical forecast & climate monitoring
Aerosol index Observation of Asian dust in the atmosphere Asian dust forecast & environment monitoring
Aerosol optical depth Estimation of atmospheric turbidity due to aerosol Asian dust forecast, environment monitoring, & climate research
Concepts of CMDPS