Japan launches fourth satellite for high-precision GPS

A fourth satellite successfully took off in southern Japan on Tuesday as part of a project to increase the precisioning of the global positioning system (GPS).
PHOTO: REUTERS

Japan yesterday launched a fourth satellite for a new high-precision global positioning system (GPS). The Michibiki satellite lifted off from the Tanegashima space port aboard an H-2A rocket, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said.

Having four satellites that loop over Japan and Australia in a figure of eight orbit will allow for uninterrupted coverage and puts engineers on course to switch the system on in April. Japanese GPS can locate devices to within centimetres compared with the US system, which has an accuracy of about 10m.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 11, 2017, with the headline 'Japan launches fourth satellite for high-precision GPS'. Print Edition | Subscribe