Successful QZSS launch
Last week saw the launch of Japan's 4th Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) spacecraft to join the constellation.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the H-IIA rocket carrying the satellite from the Tanegashima Space Center on 10 October. The Michibiki satellite is reported to have successfully separated from its carrier ~28 minutes after lift-off and entered its target quasi-zenith orbit.
The QZSS constellation, transmitting civil GPS/GNSS signals in L1, L2, L5 and E6 bands, is designed to improve the accuracy of GPS in the many high-rise and mountainous areas found in Japan. This 4th satellite completes the initial constellation, which is scheduled to be operational in April 2018. Satellite design life is 15 years and a further 3 satellites are planned to join the constellation after 2020. Quoted accuracy is '1 metre', with centimetric capability planned using augmentation.
Satellites 1, 2 & 4 are in quazi-zenith orbts of semi-major axis 42,164km (22,767NM), 41º inclination and central longitude of 136ºE. Satellite 3 is in a geostationary orbit at 127ºE.
Details from the links below . .
Pic credit JAXA.