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*** For immediate use May 18, 2012
Tokyo, May 18, 2012 - NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) announced today its role as a primary contractor of "SHIZUKU" (GCOM-W1), the water cycle observation satellite under the direction of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
SHIZUKU launched from the Tanegashima Space Center on May 18. Now in orbit, the satellite has successfully deployed its solar arrays and a large-scale rotating antenna (Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2: AMSR2, *1).
In addition to NEC's development of satellite systems, including core bus systems (*2), the company also supported the development of ground systems (including satellite control systems and mission operation systems for data processing), assisted in launch site operations and confirmed post-launch satellite conditions. Over the next three months, NEC will continue checking satellite functions and supporting the distribution of observation data.
SHIZUKU is the first satellite to begin operating under the Global Change Observation Mission (GCOM), which is carrying out long term global observations of environmental changes from space. GCOM's primary goal is to better understand the state of the Earth's water cycle and climate change. The Mission consists of two series of satellites. SHIZUKU is a member of the GCOM-W series, which observes water cycles. The second series, GCOM-C, observes climate change.
SHIZUKU is equipped with a microwave scanning radiometer that utilizes a large-scale rotating antenna to make global observations on precipitation, water vapor, wind speeds over the ocean and sea surface temperatures, all of which is expected to advance the understanding of climate change and weather prediction.
Going forward, NEC aims to capitalize on its state-of-the-art space technologies in order to drive the advancement of an information society that is friendly to people and the earth.
*2) Satellite Bus Systems
Systems that provide fundamental satellite functions, including communications equipment, solar arrays, telemetry command, orbit control, electricity control, thermal control, etc.