A new report claims that Taiwan has accelerated its attempts to create a Starlink-like low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite network in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The National Space Center for the area and the Ministry of Digital Affairs are leading the initiative to launch additional satellites in collaboration with the private sector. The project, known as the “Taiwan version of the Starlink,” comprises more than 40 Taiwanese businesses, including MediaTek, Jingpeng, and Taiyang.
Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute will create the first two satellites as part of the plan, and they will later be updated to serve as a model for the private sector to follow. Along with three stations overseas, the goal is to build 700 ground stations in Taiwan. According to the study, the usefulness of SpaceX’s Starlink against Russian aggression in Ukraine has driven these initiatives. These will lessen the region’s dependency on underground cables for internet access.
Taiwan Aims at Accelerating Satellite Connections By its Government Funded Project
By the end of 2023, the plan’s timeframe seeks to produce 70% of the satellites’ parts domestically. It is a component of Taiwan’s space development plan, whose third phase was authorized in 2019 and would cost NT$25.1 billion over ten years. The commercial sector and Taiwan’s space agency, TASA, have previously teamed together to test the potential of downlink communications. The FORMOSAT-5 satellite, which Taiwan launched in 2017 on a SpaceX Falcon 9, is a component of the third phase of the country’s space development strategy.
In November 2022, while the new spacecraft’s complete functionality testing was beginning, Su Tsen-chang, the president of Taiwan’s legislative body, paid a visit to the National Space Organization. During the occasion, he compared the space sector to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and said it would turn into another “sacred mountain” to guard the island. Due to its strategic significance in the global semiconductor manufacturing supply chain, TSMC is known as a sacred mountain in Taiwan. As the world’s most significant contract chip maker, the business is in charge of producing processors and other goods for high-profile corporations like Apple.
With several companies offering technology, including space solar panels, metal oxide semiconductor sensors, landing gears, lubricants, signal transmitters, wafers, and structural materials, Taiwan has a sizable space industry. The government wants to allow the local sector to produce up to 60% of all electronic components needed by satellites by the end of this year, thus, the space agency is focusing on developing electronics testing capabilities on the island as well.