Japan’s IBUKI-2 (GOSAT-2) Satellite Launches, Powers Up, Completes Critical Phase

The IBUKI-2 (GOSAT-2) greenhouse gas observation satellite  co-developed by the Japanese Ministry of Environment, National Institute of Environmental Studies Japan, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency  (JAXA ) has completed the critical operations phase following its launch into orbit. JAXA officials have received telemetry data from the satellite that confirm the attitude control system has transitioned to a steady, stable state.

The critical operations phase follows satellite’s separation from the launch vehicle. In this phase, solar arrays are deployed and the onboard instruments are powered on for the satellite’s regular operations. The critical operations phase concludes when the control mode begins for the satellite’s nominal operation.

The satellite has achieved power generation supported by deployed solar array wings, ground communications, and sound attitude control that maintains those operations. The bus and mission equipment has powered up, and IBUKI-2 has been able to sustain itself in orbit, concluding the critical operations phase.

IBUKI-2 will move on to the next operations phase, where the functions of the satellite’s onboard apparatus will be examined over the next two and a half months. During this phase, the entire satellite, its observation/mission sensors, and other onboard equipment are scrutinized.

At 13:08:00 p.m. Japan Standard Time (JST), October 29, 2018, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and JAXA launched H-IIA No. 40 encapsulating IBUKI-2.

JAXA Mingenew Station, Australia, received telemetry data at 13:26 p.m. JST, confirming IBUKI-2’s solar array deployment above Australia. At 13:47p.m. JST, telemetry transmitted to the Troll Satellite Station, Antarctica, demontrated that the satellite’s sun acquisition control proceeded properly.

JAXA officials convey deep appreciation for the support by all for the satellite’s launch and tracking.

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Courtney E. Howard  is editorial director and content strategist at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group. Contact her by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..