Utilizing Space Through Satellites Engineering Test Satellite VIII "KIKU No.8" (ETS-VIII)

Operation Completed

About Engineering Test Satellite VIII "KIKU No.8" (ETS-VIII)

One of the world’s largest geostationary satellites will make mobile communications more convenient.

Over the years, Japan has launched a series of Engineering Test Satellites - ETS-I (KIKU-1) to ETS-VII (KIKU-7, Orihime/Hikoboshi). Each of these addressed the technological needs of its time. ETS-VIII was launched by the H-IIA launch vehicle No.11, with the main purpose of dealing with the increasing demand for digital communications, such as mobile phones and other mobile devices. The satellite, with a gross weight of around three tons and a diameter of 40 meters, has two Large Deployable Antenna Reflectors and two Solar Array paddles. One LDAR, about the size of a tennis court, is one of the world’s largest geostationary satellites. Its size will enable direct communications with a geostationary satellite that covers all of Japan, making mobile communications more reliable. Currently under development are Large Deployable Antenna Reflectors with metal-mesh, high-power transponders and on-board processors. The technologies used in the development of these LDARs will be applicable to other large space structures.

KIKU No.8 will make our lives more comfortable.

The mission of ETS-VIII is not only to improve the environment for mobile-phone-based communications, but also to contribute to the development of technologies for a satellite-based multimedia broadcasting system for mobile devices. It will play an important role in the provision of services and information, such as the transmission of CD-quality audio and video; more reliable voice and data communications; global positioning of and broadcasting to moving objects such as cars; faster disaster relief, etc. Experiments in the fundamental technology for satellite-positioning, using a high-precision clock system, will be conducted between ETS-VIII and GPS, through the reception of signals transmitted from the clock.

Lauch date: December 18, 2006

Project Topics

Jan. 11, 2017 Updated

Completion of KIKU No. 8 Operation

Completion of KIKU No. 8 Operation

At 3:25 p.m., (Japan Standard Time) January 10, 2017, JAXA terminated its Engineering Test Satellite-VIII KIKU No.8 (ETS-VIII) transmission, thus brought a closure to the satellite’s operation. KIKU No. 8 was built for demonstration and experiment, with the purpose of improvement of mobile communications system. When Japan earthquake and tsunami of 2011 broke out, the satellite did the much needed service of providing the internet access for the afflicted region. Launched on December 18, ...

Characteristics of Engineering Test Satellite VIII "KIKU No.8" (ETS-VIII)

Major Characteristics

International Designation Code 2006-059A
Launch Date 15:32, December 18, 2006 (JST)
Launch Vehicle H-IIA Launch Vehicle No.11
Location Tanegashima Space Center
Shape Main body is about 2.4m x 2.5m x 3.8m
(With two large deployable antennas of 19m x 17m)
Weight Mass at liftoff: Approx. 5,800kg
Orbiter Geostationary orbit(GEO) (Longitude 146deg E (tentative))
Altitude Approx. 36,000km
Inclination 0 degrees
Period Approx. 24 hours
Attitude Control Three-axis stabilization