The Japanese government has ordered three navigation satellites from Mitsubishi Electric Corp. to expand the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS), reports Spaceflight Now. QZSS augments GPS navigation signals for users in the Asia-Pacific region.
NEC Corporation has also been awarded a contract, for the Ground Control Segment.
Japan’s Cabinet Office announced the QZSS expansion on March 29, approving a $526 million contract with Mitsubishi Electric for the construction of three satellites for launch before the end of 2017. Two of the spacecraft will be placed in inclined orbits, and one satellite will operate in geostationary orbit over the equator.
NEC Corp. will operate QZSS for 15 years under a $1.2 billion contract that covers the design, verification and maintenance of the QZSS ground system.
Michibiki, launched in September 2010, is Japan’s first QZSS.