by Peter B. de Selding — August 23, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — South Korea on Aug. 22 added radar to its existing optical Earth observation satellite capacity when its Kompsat-5/Arirang-5 X-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) spacecraft was placed into low Earth orbit.

The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) said Aug. 23 that the satellite was healthy in orbit and communicating with ground stations, and that its solar arrays had deployed.

Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy, which built the SAR instrument, said the X-band transmission antennas had deployed and that the payload would be activated Sept. 3, with commissioning and calibration to occur in September and October.

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