GEO-KOMPSAT-2B will be KARI’s second satellite as a manufacturer – and its third as a client – to be launched by Arianespace.
The GEO-KOMPSAT-2 program is a national program of the Korean government to develop and operate two civilian geostationary satellites: GEO-KOMPSAT-2A for meteorological and space weather monitoring missions; and GEO-KOMPSAT-2B for Earth environment monitoring and ocean monitoring missions.
The GEO-KOMPSAT 2 program also ensures the succession for the COMS program (Communication, Ocean and Meteorological Satellite).
The predecessor satellite, GEO-KOMPSAT-2A, was successfully launched by Arianespace in December 2018.
GEO-KOMPSAT-2B carries two main payloads: GOCI II (Geostationary Ocean Color Imager II), provided by Airbus Defence and Space; and the GEMS (Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer), provided by Ball Aerospace & Technologies.
For nearly 30 years, Arianespace and Korea’s satellite technology research centers have developed a sound relationship, with the launch of both scientific microsatellites and the COMS multi-mission satellite.
Arianespace also maintains a fruitful collaboration in terms of commercial telecommunications with the national satellite operator.
In parallel, Arianespace developed a unique partnership with Korean industry. During the 1990s, Korea delivered 22 telemetry boxes for Ariane 5, thus becoming the only non-European partner involved in the Ariane program.
GEO-KOMPSAT-2B will be the eighth satellite launched by Arianespace for South Korea.
Currently, there is one additional KARI satellite in Arianespace’s backlog for a future launch.