In our everyday life, we take for granted the convenience of international phone calls, live telecasts from other countries, and even car navigation systems. Most of these services would not be accessible to us without satellites. For airplanes and ships to navigate safely, global positioning information provided by satellites is indispensable.
These improvements are made possible through the work of engineering test satellites.
A launch of a new communications satellite is planned for the purpose of enhancing Internet service and that of cellular phones. We, the Office of Space Application, seek more efficient use of satellites while utilizinge space technology that we have established and pursuing useful satellites for the future.
The dissemination of information technologies (IT) such as fiber optics, cable TV, the Internet, and satellite digital broadcasting makes life more fulfilling and convenient. Satellite communications sustain the establishment of the infrastructure for further development of our IT society.
In its efforts to develop super-high-speed Internet technology, JAXA has started the "i-Space application experiment project" as part of its research into the infrastructure of space.
The project is to carry out technical development and verification experiments to promote satellite applications in various areas such as Internet communications, education, medical science, disaster prevention, and ITS (Intelligent Transport System), by using the next generation of communications satellites under development. These include the Engineering Test Satellite "KIKU No.8", the Wideband InterNetworking engineering test and Demonstration Satellite "KIZUNA", and the Quasi-Zenith Satellite-1 "MICHIBIKI".
The following is information communication and/or positioning satellites in service or those that are planned to be launched.
Wideband InterNetworking engineering test and Demonstration Satellite "KIZUNA" (WINDS)
The "KIZUNA" is a satellite for research and development to establish a future communication network.
Engineering Test Satellite VIII "KIKU No.8" (ETS-VIII)
The "KIKU No.8" (ETS-VIII) is an engineering test satellite to perform cutting edge communication experiments with two large-scale deployable antennas.
Optical Inter-orbit Communications Engineering Test Satellite "KIRARI" (OICETS)
The "KIRARI" enabled optical inter-orbit communication tests between satellites, or between a satellite and an optical ground station, to transfer a large volume of data using laser beams.
Data Relay Test Satellite "KODAMA" (DRTS)
The "KODAMA" relays a large volume of data from earth observation satellites or the International Space Station (ISS).
Quasi-Zenith Satellite-1 "MICHIBIKI"
The "MICHIBIKI" is a system that enables highly accurate positioning in and around Japan with a constellation of several identical satellites.