Author Topic: New JAXA Test Satellite unveiled and named SLATS: Super Low Altitude Test Sat  (Read 1922 times)

Offline russianhalo117

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New JAXA Test Satellite unveiled and named SLATS: Super Low Altitude Test Satellite

Published on Apr 28, 2017


original excerpt:
超低高度衛星技術試験機「SLATS」プロモーションムービー [YouTube]

Translated excerpt:

~ Open up a new air space ~ What kind of satellite is "SLATS"?
"Ultra low altitude orbit" of 300 km or less in altitude. At this altitude the resistance of the atmosphere is large, making it difficult to keep the satellite in orbit for a long time.
SLATS realizes continuous flight at ultra low altitude with a highly efficient ion engine and demonstrates technology for the development and utilization of future ultra low altitude satellites.
Further details:
Ultra low altitude satellite technical tester "SLATS" (
Ultra low altitude satellite technical tester "SLATS" promotion movie [YouTube]
« Last Edit: 05/01/2017 09:56 pm by russianhalo117 »

Offline yoichi

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Tsubame Transition to Orbit Keeping Operations
March 18, 2019 (JST)
National Research and Development Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
National Research and Exploration Agency Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched Tsubame*1, The Super Low Altitude Test Satellite, on December 23, 2017. The Tsubame satellite completed its orbit transfer phase and will transition on April 2 to the orbit keeping phase, powered by the ion engines.
Designed to open up the possibilities of satellite use in a super low orbit, Tsubame gradually lowered its altitude using atmospheric drag and the onboard gas jet and has been in good health.
The ensuing orbit keeping operation executes the descent in five stages, 271.5 kilometers, 250 kilometers, 240 kilometers, 230 kilometers, and 220 kilometers. Each altitude is sustained for some time. In an orbit at 180 kilometers, the target altitude, where there is significant atmospheric resistance, the gas jet is turned on in addition to the ion engines to withstand the drag. (See the images of the orbital maintenance operation profile)
On April 2 through May 2, the Tsubame satellite will be sustained at 271.5 kilometers, its recurrent orbit.*2 Stationary measuring is scheduled every day of the month-long period above the Tokyo metropolitan area at high resolution, one advantage that satellite operation in a super low orbit affords. Thereafter, the satellite gradually lowers its altitude and enters the orbit keeping operation through September. During this operation, data is to be acquired of the atmosphere and atomic oxygen in a super low altitude. Photographing by Small and High Resolution Optical Sensor (SHIROP) will also be experimented.
*1: For more information, go to
Tsubame three onboard mission instruments are:
(1) The Small and High Resolution Optical Sensor (SHIROP)
(2) The Optical Sensor (OPS)
(3) The Atomic Oxygen Monitor System (AMO) comprising of the Atomic Oxygen Monitor (AOFS) and the Material Degradation Monitor (MDM)
*2: A satellite repeats its path, which is called a recurrent or sub-recurrent orbit. This orbit enables the satellite to observe the same area at regular intervals.

Online ncb1397

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I wonder how low they can get with these low altitude satellites. <100 km would be neat. An orbital satellite that isn't in space.

You can definitely improve the aerodynamic shaping on this vehicle.
« Last Edit: 03/20/2019 03:36 pm by ncb1397 »