Press Release

ETS-VIII Update 29 Jul 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
July 29, 2003
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ETS-VIII is the eighth NASDA engineering test satellite to carry out communication experiments by its cutting-edge deployable antenna that is the largest in the world.

The flight models of the large deployable antennas are now being tested.

The large deployable antennas (LDRs), which will be as large as a tennis court when they are deployed in orbit, are characteristic modules of the ETS-VIII.

In parallel with the tests of the main body, environment tests for the flight models of the LDRs, which have mirror surfaces made of metal mesh, are underway. A “flight model” means a model that will actually go to space, as the name explains. Two sets of LDRs will be installed in the ETS-VIII, one for transmitting and the other for receiving.

For the environment tests, launch conditions and space environment, namely vibration, acoustic condition, thermal vacuum, are simulated to verify if the LDRs can withstand them. After passing the environment tests, the development of the LDRs can move to the next step.


NASDA’s Engineering Test Satellite (ETS) series is aimed at developing satellite common base technologies. NASDA has developed seven Engineering Test Satellites so far, and is continuing to make steady progress through the application of achievements gained from them. The Engineering Test Satellite VIII (ETS-VIII) is an advanced satellite being developed primarily to establish and verify the world’slargest geostationary satellite bus technology, which is necessary for space missions at the beginning of the 21st century. The ETS-VIII will conduct orbital experiments on the Large-Scale Deployable Reflector, Which is widely applicatble to large-scale space structures, as well as the High-Power Transponder, and the On-Board Processor, which are all required to realize mobile satellite communications with hand-held terminals, similar to popular cellular phones. Moreover, the ETS-VIII will carry a high precise clock system for satellite positioning experiments.

SpaceRef staff editor.