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FUTEX 2021 returns with physical exhibition and focus on space technology
Sandy Du, DIGITIMES, Taipei 0

Credit: TCA

To explore the vast unknown of outer space has always been a dream for humans everywhere. And we have never been as close to fulfilling that dream as when the Inspiration 4 rocket was launched on September 15, 2021, as a part of SpaceX's space tourism project. The mission marks the first time in history that an all-civilian crew has managed to reach orbit and serves as a hallmark for humanity's space exploration efforts. Another space exploration milestone was set just a few months back on April 20, 2021, when NASA's unmanned mars helicopter completed its virgin flight and subsequent landing on Mars.

In fact, it seems that a nation's ability to develop spacefaring technology has become a direct indicator of its competitiveness in recent years, with Taiwan being no exception. The island nation has long been a noteworthy player in the field of space technology, having delivered a wealth of exceptional results on the global stage over the years. One such example would be the recently launched Ionospheric Dynamics Explorer and Attitude Subsystem Satellite (IDEASSat) that successfully reached orbit on January 2021 through SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket. Over a three-year period, the IDEASSat rocket project was developed, tested, delivered, launched, and now managed by National Central University with aid from the CubeSat Program under Taiwan's National Space Organization.

The launch of this miniaturized man-made satellite will not only lower development and launch costs for future space exploration technology but also serve as a platform for science experiments, technical validation, and commercial activities. Notably, the IDEASSat satellite also includes a CMOS image sensor that is completely developed and manufactured domestically, symbolizing a massive leap forward for Taiwan's ability to design, research, and develop key image sensing components.

See the forward-looking space-faring tech at FUTEX 2021

The space industry is currently listed as one of Taiwan's six core strategic industries, and for those interested in the latest research and prospective development in space exploration technology, this year's Taiwan Innotech Expo - FUTEX 2021 is a must-watch event. The Taiwan Innotech Expo (TIE) - FUTEX is the definitive exhibit for those interested in learning about Taiwan's foray into space exploration. The event will be launch on October 14 to 23, 2021, in a parallel format with both physical locations and virtual exhibits. The physical exhibition features a space technology zone to showcase the forward-looking technology for academia and research of Taiwan. Besides the aforementioned CubeSat from National Central University and CMOS image sensor, there is also the greatly anticipated fiber optic gyroscope seismic sensor. Compared to traditional seismic sensors, the newly developed fiber optic detection approach not allows for the sensing of micro to small shock waves prior to the arrival of the mainshock but is also more sensitive in its response to high-frequency shockwaves, making it suitable for a variety of vibration sensing applications such as earthquake wave detection, volcano monitoring, wind turbine vibration monitoring, anti-vibration tables, high voltage transmission tower vibration monitoring, building vibration reduction, vehicle vibration, etc.

Exciting space forum with experts around the world

The 10-day long TIE virtual expo will feature various technology forums with both breadth and depth. The virtual space forum held on the afternoon of October 15, for example, will be discussing the key focuses of Taiwan's space industry in the coming decade, the progress of Taiwan's space exploration efforts, and the strategies for capitalizing on the global satellite communication market. The forum will be inviting the Director General of the National Space Organization from the National Applied Research Laboratories as well as experts and scholars from the Taiwan Space Union, National Central University, National Cheng Kung University, Foxconn Interconnect Technology (FIT), Wistron, and Allxon to share their experience. The expo will also be seeing international speakers from NASA, the Czech Space Alliance, and the Singaporean satellite company Kacific join via remote video to give their insights into the latest international space exploration trends and technologies including market layout, technology supply chain, innovative technological integration, and ultimately ways to realize humanity's space-faring dream.

All things considered, FUTEX 2021 is poised to be the most rewarding and fulfilling technological summit of the year. The 10-day long virtual exhibit is set to debut on October 14 and lasts until October 23, with an added 3-day physical venue located in the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall from October 14 to October 16. This year's FUTEX exhibit is dubbed "Tech the lead, connect the future" and will focus on the areas of precision health, space technology, AIOT & smart applications, electronics & optoelectronics, advanced materials & green energy, and cross-discipline integration to showcase the achievements of Taiwan's industrial-academic cooperation in various fields. Taiwan possesses impressive academic-business collaboration research capabilities and is set to debut close to 350 prospective technologies in a demonstration of the countries' leading R&D power in the intensely competitive post-pandemic era. To further promote international exchange, the international exhibit areas will also feature 34 innovative technological applications from 12 different countries forecasting the technological trends and industry developments of the next 3-10 years. In addition to the plethora of digital exhibits, the expo will also have several online trend forums and thematic talks spanning the three major fields of digital transformation, precision health, and space technology. The conference will also invite 30 CEOs and figures from domestic and foreign industries, government, academia, and the research world to share their unique views on the industry. For more information about FUTEX and the latest first-hand updates, please visit its Facebook fan page or its official account on the Line massage app with the ID: @futex.

2021 FUTEX virtual space forum will be held in the afternoon of October 15.

2021 FUTEX virtual space forum will be held on the afternoon of October 15.
Photo: TCA