Jiji Press TANEGASHIMA, Kagoshima (Jiji Press) — The fourth satellite for the Japanese version of the global positioning system was successfully launched Tuesday.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, launched an H-2A rocket carrying the Michibiki No. 4 satellite from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture at 7:01 a.m.
The government satellite was separated from the rocket about 28 minutes after liftoff and entered its target quasi-zenith orbit.
The Michibiki satellite system complements the GPS, helping reduce positioning errors in the U.S. system to around one meter. It is also designed to realize positioning accuracy of a few centimeters to several tens of centimeters by using data received by electronic reference stations set up across Japan by the Geospatial Information Authority.
The Michibiki system helps reduce areas where radio waves are difficult to reach, such as locations between tall buildings and in mountains.
With the launch of the No. 4 satellite, radio waves from the Michibiki system can be received in Japan constantly.
The government plans to start supplying positioning data in fiscal 2018 using four Michibiki satellites — the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 quasi-zenith satellites moving almost directly above Japan and the No. 3 geostationary satellite.