Over the years, Japan has launched a series of Engineering Test Satellites - ETS-I (KIKU-1) to ETS-VII (KIKU-7, Orihime/Hikoboshi). Each of these addressed the technological needs of its time. ETS-VIII was launched by the H-IIA launch vehicle No.11, with the main purpose of dealing with the increasing demand for digital communications, such as mobile phones and other mobile devices. The satellite, with a gross weight of around three tons and a diameter of 40 meters, has two Large Deployable Antenna Reflectors and two Solar Array paddles. One LDAR, about the size of a tennis court, is one of the world’s largest geostationary satellites. Its size will enable direct communications with a geostationary satellite that covers all of Japan, making mobile communications more reliable. Currently under development are Large Deployable Antenna Reflectors with metal-mesh, high-power transponders and on-board processors. The technologies used in the development of these LDARs will be applicable to other large space structures.
The mission of ETS-VIII is not only to improve the environment for mobile-phone-based communications, but also to contribute to the development of technologies for a satellite-based multimedia broadcasting system for mobile devices. It will play an important role in the provision of services and information, such as the transmission of CD-quality audio and video; more reliable voice and data communications; global positioning of and broadcasting to moving objects such as cars; faster disaster relief, etc. Experiments in the fundamental technology for satellite-positioning, using a high-precision clock system, will be conducted between ETS-VIII and GPS, through the reception of signals transmitted from the clock.
|International Designation Code||2006-059A|
|Launch Date||15:32, December 18, 2006 (JST)|
|Launch Vehicle||H-IIA Launch Vehicle No.11|
|Location||Tanegashima Space Center|
|Shape||Main body is about 2.4m x 2.5m x 3.8m
(With two large deployable antennas of 19m x 17m)
|Weight||Mass at liftoff: Approx. 5,800kg|
|Orbiter||Geostationary orbit(GEO) (Longitude 146deg E (tentative))|
|Period||Approx. 24 hours|
|Attitude Control||Three-axis stabilization|