On October 26, 2021, the Japanese company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries launched the H-2A launch vehicle with a new satellite for the global positioning system from the Tanegashima cosmodrome in southwestern Kagoshima prefecture.
The Michibiki ("Pointing Way") spacecraft should replace the very first satellite of a similar series, launched back in 2010. The constellation will continue to number four satellites, but by 2023 their number is planned to be increased to seven.
A feature of the Japanese positioning system, called QZSS, is a high degree of signal encryption. It is said that this makes it possible to reliably protect them from interference that can be created by hostile states or terrorist organizations.
In addition to civilian users, it is planned to completely switch the armed forces and special services of Japan to Michibiki. It is noted that these satellites are able to determine the coordinates of objects on the Earth's surface in the area of their operation with an error of the order of 6 cm.
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