Press Release

KIZUNA Operation Completion

March 1, 2019 (JST)

National Research and Development Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

For about two weeks since a communications anomaly was first detected in KIZUNA, (WINDS) The Wideband InterNetworking engineering test and Demonstration Satellite, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (hereafter JAXA) was striving to re-establish link from the ground stations with the satellite. Repeated attempts failed, forcing JAXA to determine that ground communications with KIZUNA are lost and to send a command* at 3:54p.m., February 27, 2019 to power off the batteries and transmitter aboard the KIZUNA satellite. KIZUNA was co-developed by The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) and JAXA and launched aboard the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 14 from the JAXA Tanegashima Space Center on February 23, 2008. Since then, the KIZUNA satellite was operational, by far beyond its 5-year design life. KIZUNA operations have led to many achievements. Broad, high speed satellite communications technology was demonstrated. At the Great East Japan Earthquake, KIZUNA was used to offer temporary communication lines in the disaster-stricken area and to provide government and other official organizations with disaster data.
JAXA would like to express its heartfelt appreciation to all for their cooperation shown to the KIZUNA operation.

Summary of KIZUNA accomplishments

(1) Satellite high-speed internet communication technology

  • Verification of high-speed transmission technology at 3.2 Gbps, the world's fastest at that time
  • Selected as "Best of what's new 2008" of Popular Science, an American quarterly magazine
  • Seaborne transmission of under-water super hi-vision imagery from a sea vessel to the ground station

(2) Verification of super high-speed communication model to reduce internet access disparities in Asia Pacific

  • Simultaneous internet distribution at multiple overseas reception stations
  • Remote e-learning and medical experiment
  • Quasi real time processing of the VERA (VLBI Exploration of Radio Astrometry) observation data of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ)

(3) Verification of emergency communications by satellite high-speed transmission

  • Emergency communications testing at disaster drills
  • Assisting disaster relief at the Great East Japan Earthquake