Press Release


First Quasi-Zenith Satellite 'MICHIBIKI' Begins
Providing Positioning Signals
(Lifting the alert flag)

June 22, 2011 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) confirmed that the quality and reliability for positioning signals (L1-C/A and L2C*1) of the First Quasi-Zenith Satellite (QZS) "MICHIBIKI" satisfied the QZS system user interface specifications (IS-QZSS) through technological verification, thus lifting the alert flag*2 for the L1-C/A and L2C positioning signals on June 22.
We will remove the alert flag for the remaining positioning signals (L5 and L1C*3) after their compliance with the IS-QZSS is verified.
As the alert flags were dismissed, a GPS receiver corresponding to the MICHIBIKI will be able to use MICHIBIKI's positioning signals for its calculations.
JAXA is engaging in promotional activities to develop a commercial GPS receiver that corresponds to the MICHIBIKI including a program called "supporting system for corresponding a commercial GPS receiver with the QZSS (QZ-support.)" (Please refer to the attachment.)
We expect to expand the environment where people can enjoy MICHIBIKI's effectiveness through lifting the alert flags and popularization of receivers corresponding to the MICHIBIKI.

  • *1 L1-C/A and L2C:
    GPS supplementary signals. It is possible to use both positioning signals reciprocally from the current GPS and the MICHIBIKI.
  • *2 Alert flag:
    A flag that indicates that positioning signals from the MICHIBIKI cannot be usable (alert status.) In the alert status, general users cannot use signals from the MICHIBIKI for their positioning calculations even if they receive them. Alert flags may be set again for satellite operations such as orbit and attitude control, and technological verification. You can find our operation and test schedule on our data publication website "QZ vision" (
  • *3 L5 and L1C:
    GPS supplementary signals. They can be used reciprocally with new positioning signals that are based on the modernization plan of the GPS.


Current status of developing commercial GPS receivers corresponding to MICHIBIKI

Company nameDevelopment statusNote
Nikon-Trimble Col, Ltd Preparing to make the current higher-rank device correspond to the MICHIBIKI. *
Denso Corporation Establishing an environment for verification and evaluation for production feasibility study. *
Koden Electronics. Co., Developing software for studying production feasibility. *
CSR plc. Made the current products correspond to the MICHIBIKI with an updated firmware.
Topcon Corporation Some devices have already been corresponding to the MICHIBIKI. The rest are also schedule to be remodeled. *
Core Corporation Studying the feasibility of production under the environment for evaluation. *
Seiko Epson Corporation Future devices will correspond to the MICHIBIKI. *
MediaTek Inc. Already manufactured corresponding devices. *
JAVAD GNSS Inc. Already manufactured corresponding devices.  
Furuno Electric co., Ltd. Studying specifics for production. The company has experience to deliver a custom-made receiver (LEX receiver, and others.)  
Sony Corporation Studying the feasibility concretely.  
Spacelink Corporation Developing hardware and software for production. Collaboration through the space open lab system

* Companies applying for the QZ-support program (in order of application)