Press Release


First Quasi-zenith Satellite MICHIBIKI
Status of the Initial Functional Verification

October 19, 2010 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has been conducting the scheduled initial functional verification of the satellite bus and mission devices of the First Quasi-zenith Satellite "MICHIBIKI," which was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center at 8:17 p.m. on September 11, 2010 (Japan Standard Time, all the following dates and time are JST.) In the course of the verification, we confirmed the functions of the attitude control and communications systems, and, today, we would like to announce that we started transmission of one of the positioning signals, namely the L1-SAIF signal (*1) from the L1-SAIF antenna (*2) of the MICHIBIKI on October 19, 2010, after we turned on its onboard positioning mission devices.

We will make sure that the L1-SAIF signal has compatibility with the existing positioning services, and then begin transmitting signals from the L-band Helical Antenna (*3) namely the L1-C/A, L2C, L5, L1C, and LEX signals (*4), before gradually increasing the signal output in stages while confirming compatibility with them. It is expected to take about a week to transmit all the signals in full nominal output power.

During our verification of the positioning signal function and performance, Non Standard Code (NSC) is being used.

We will continue conducting the initial functional verification of the onboard devices (for abut three months after launch) in cooperation with organizations that are in charge of technical verification (*5.)

*1: L1-SAIF signal: a GPS augmentation signal with information on positioning correction and GPS healthiness ("SAIF" stands for "Submeter-class Augmentation with Integrity Function.")
*2: L1-SAIF antenna: an antenna to transmit the L1-SAIF signal to the ground.
*3: L-band Helical Antenna: an antenna to transmit the L1-C/A, L2C, L5, L1C, and LEX signals to the ground.
*4: L1-C/A, L2C, L5, L1C signals: GPS augmentation signals that can be operated reciprocally with positioning signals provided by the GPS. / LEX signal: a MICHIBIKI unique experimental signal.
*5: Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI), National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Electronic Navigation Research Institute (ENRI), Satellite Positioning Research and Application Center (SPAC)