Engineering Test Satellite VIII "KIKU No.8"(ETS-VIII)

In Operation

Project Topics


October 25, 2012 Updated

KIKU No.8 starts data transmission test from GPS tsunami gauge

JAXA started a data transmission test from a GPS tsunami gauge through the Engineering Test Satellite-VIII KIKU No.8 (ETS-III) on Oct. 24 in cooperation with the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Hitachi Zosen Corporation, the Earthquake Research Institute of The University of Tokyo, and Kochi national College of Technology.
During the test, wave observation information acquired by a GPS tsunami gauge set on a buoy about 40 kms offshore of Muroto Point, Kochi Prefecture, is sent to shore via the KIKU No.8. If the test is successful, leading to such a transmission becoming practically available, it is expected to be helpful as it can continuously provide accurate tsunami data received offshore not only in Japan but all over the world when a ground GPS tsunami gauge is damaged due to power and/or power line failure caused by an earthquake or tsunami.

Overview


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One of the world’s largest geostationary satellites will make mobile communications more convenient.

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.


KIKU No.8 will make our lives more comfortable.

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.


Major Characteristics

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))
Altitude Approx. 36,000km
Inclination 0 degrees
Period Approx. 24 hours
Attitude Control Three-axis stabilization