Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) has been selected by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) as the prime contractor for the Engineering Test Satellite 9 (ETS-9) scheduled to launch in 2021.
The ETS-9 will be the centerpiece of a project to develop an advanced satellite bus, or common model, for various high-throughput satellites (HTS) for communications. Mitsubishi Electric hopes to leverage the advanced technologies it cultivates for the ETS-9 to win contracts for two satellite systems per year in the global commercial market.
- The new satellite bus will focus specifically on advanced communication needs:
- Up to 25kW of power to support HTS communications
- Light mass, all-electric bus system achieved with 6kW high-power Hall thrusters (Japan-made)
- High-power Hall thrusters significantly shorten delivery of orbiting satellite compared to other manufacturer's 4.5kW-class electric-propulsion bus systems
The first Japanese geostationary satellite equipped with GPS receivers (Japan-made) for laborsaving autonomous orbital transfer and orbital maneuvering.The Japanese government's Basic Plan for Space Policy has identified advanced technologies for communications and broadcasting satellites as crucial to Japan's security and global competitiveness in the space industry. Next-generation technologies to be deployed in the ETS-9 are expected to be in demand in the global market and will help Japan advance its industrial and scientific technology infrastructure.
Mitsubishi Electric's existing DS2000 standard bus system, long proven in governmental and commercial satellites worldwide, is now facing intense competition in the market for new high-power, high-throughput communications satellites. In response, Mitsubishi Electric has placed top priority on developing a world-class, 25kW-output, all-electric satellite bus system through the ETS-9 in collaboration with JAXA.
Mitsubishi Electric has helped to produce more than 500 domestic and international satellites as either the prime contractor or a major subcontractor. In 2000, it became the first Japanese manufacturer capable of developing, designing, assembling and testing satellites at a single facility. The facility is part of the company's Kamakura Works, which boasts one of Japan's largest thermal vacuum testing chambers as well as an acoustic test chamber and an antenna test range.
Mitsubishi Electric raised its presence in the global satellite market when it was selected to supply the TURKSAT-4A and -4B satellites to Turksat A.S. in Turkey in March 2011. The two satellites were built with Mitsubishi Electric's DS2000 satellite platform, which combines high reliability and effective cost management. In May 2011, Mitsubishi Electric delivered its ST-2 communications satellite into geostationary orbit for a joint venture between Singapore Telecommunications Limited and Taiwan-based Chunghwa Telecom Company Limited. In 2014, the company was awarded a contract to deliver the Es'hail 2 communications satellite to operator Qatar Satellite Company (Es'hailSat).