October 27, 2017 (JST)
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
National Research and Development Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are pleased to announce the launch schedule for Global Changing Observation Mission - Climate "SHIKISAI" (GCOM-C) and Super Low Altitude Test Satellite "TSUBAME" (SLATS) by H-IIA launch vehicle No. 37.
The launch schedule of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 37 (H-IIA F37) has been decided to be between 10:26:22 thru 10:48:22 a.m. on December 23 (Sat), 2017 (Japan Standard time). The launch will be performed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and JAXA. H-IIA Launch vehicle No. 37 incorporates JAXA's newly developed outcome to insert SHIKISAI and TSUBAME into different orbit altitude respectively. It will expand opportunities of multiple satellite launch and take full advantage of the capability of H-...
Forecasting future global climate
The purpose of the GCOM (Global Change Observation Mission) project is the global, long-term observation of Earth's environment. GCOM is expected to play an important role in monitoring both global water circulation and climate change, and examining the health of Earth from space. Global and long-term observations (10-15 years) by GCOM will contribute to an understanding of water circulation mechanisms and climate change.
GCOM consists of two satellite series, the GCOM-W and GCOM-C. The GCOM-C, carrying a SGLI (Second generation GLobal Imager), conducts surface and atmospheric measurements related to the carbon cycle and radiation budget, such as clouds, aerosols, ocean color, vegetation, and snow and ice.
The Second generation GLobal Imager (SGLI) on GCOM-C1 is an optical sensor capable of multi-channel observation at wavelengths from near-UV to thermal infrared wavelengths (380nm to 12µm.) SGLI also has polarimetry and forward / backward observation functions at red and near infrared wavelengths. SGLI obtains global observation data once every 2 or 3 days, with resolutions of 250m to 1km.
The SGLI observations will improve our understanding of climate change mechanisms through long-term monitoring of aerosols and clouds, as well as vegetation and temperatures, in the land and ocean regions. These observations will also contribute to enhancing the prediction accuracy of future environmental changes by improving sub-processes in numerical climate models. SGLI-derived phytoplankton and aerosol distributions are also used for mapping fisheries and for monitoring the transport of yellow dust and/or wildfire smoke.
|Launch Vehicle||H-IIA Launch Vehicle|
|Location||Tanegashima Space Center|
|Design Life||5 years|
|Orbiter||Sun-Synchronous Subrecurrent/ Recurrent|
|Launch Date||JFY 2017 (Scheduled)|
H-IIA Launch vehicle No. 37 incorporates JAXA's newly developed outcome to insert SHIKISAI and TSUBAME into different orbit altitude respectively. It will expand opportunities of multiple satellite launch and take full advantage of the capability of H-IIA.
Creating new possibilities in satellite usage by developing new orbits
The Super Low Altitude Test Satellite "TSUBAME" (SLATS) is the first Earth observation satellite to use a super low orbit. A "super low orbit" refers to an orbit with an altitude lower than 300 km. This orbit is an undeveloped region and it has yet to be fully utilized by satellites. Satellites in a super low orbit will bring benefits such as high resolution observations for optical imagers, low power transmissions for active sensors, and cost reductions for satellite manufacturing and launches. This is due to the closer range to the Earth.
SLATS will use the ion engine technology developed by JAXA in order to verify its technology for orbit control at super low altitudes.
The test satellite will also collect technical data related to the atmosphere, which will be used in the design of future satellites.
Furthermore, SLATS will photograph the Earth, and its technology will be evaluated for future Earth observation satellites.
Atomic oxygen monitoring system
|Major onboard instruments||1. Atomic Oxygen Monitoring System
a) AOFS (Atomic Oxygen Fluence Sensor)
b) MDM (Material Degradation Monitor)
2. OPS (Optical Sensor) for Earth observation
|Size||2.5 (X) x 5.2 (Y) x 0.9 m (Z)
（when expanded in orbit)
|Weight||400 kg or less|
|Generated power||1,140 W or more|
|Design life||2 years or longer|
|Altitude||Altitude of 268 km to 180 km|
|Launch Date||JFY 2016 (Scheduled)|