The Second Quasi-Zenith Satellite Michibiki at JAXA's Tsukuba Space Center (Seiji Tanaka)

  • Photo/Illustraion

TSUKUBA, Ibaraki Prefecture--To boost the accuracy and reception of the existing GPS system for Japan, a new version of a satellite that will orbit directly over the Japanese archipelago has been unveiled.

Officials at the Tsukuba Space Center of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) here showed the Second Quasi-Zenith Satellite (QZS-2) Michibiki, literally meaning guidance or navigation, on April 5.

It is designed to boost the existing GPS and provide a better positioning reading for the people in Japan.

JAXA will send aloft three of the Michibiki satellite series by the end of fiscal 2017, and is scheduled to start full operation in fiscal 2018. The Second and Fourth Michibiki will be of the same model.

Michibiki satellites oscillate from the northern to southern hemisphere to remain in the same longitude as the Japanese islands. Their main advantage is that reception of signals from them are less susceptible to tall buildings and other obstacles when using smartphones or other devices on the ground.

With the use of a special signal receiver for Michibiki, the user's location can be pinpointed with a high degree of accuracy to within a few centimeters.

When the Second Michibiki goes up in space, with the First Michibiki already in operation, the duration that Japanese can access the highly accurate signals will almost double from the current six hours.

Quelle: The Asahi Shimbun 


Update: 13.04.2017


Launch Schedule of MICHIBIKI No. 2 Aboard H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 34

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
National Research and Development Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and JAXA announce the schedule of MICHIBIKI No. 2 launch, Quasi-Zenith Satellite System aboard H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 34 as follows;

Launch Date:
June 1, 2017
Launch Time:
Approximately 9:20 a.m. (Japan Standard Time) *
Reserved Launch Period:
June 2 through June 30, 2017
Yoshinobu Launch Complex, JAXA's Tanegashima Space Center

* Launch time during the reserved launch period will vary.

Quelle: JAXA