The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced it has set up a satellite communication connection using the Engineering Test Satellite VIII "KIKU No. 8" (ETS-VIII) to support the disaster measures being carried at Tohoku Region.
JAXA set up a ground antenna and the movable test communication terminal for the KIKU No. 8 at the Ofunato City Hall on March 24. The terminal can connect the communication line of up to 768 Kbps between the City Hall and the Tsukuba Space Center via KIKU No. 8.
Following the deployment of this communication line, Ofunato City Hall workers started collecting information by PCs through the Internet. The service also allowed the city hall, local fire departments and other offices to use the Internet and IP telephones to share information for strengthening their cooperative activities.
KIKU No. 8 also allowed communications with a small movable test terminal, which was installed at Ofunato City. This made the information dispatch from evacuation centers and other places through the Internet possible.
Additionally, a movable antenna for the Wideband Internetworking Engineering Test and Demonstration Satellite "KIZUNA" (WINDS) has been installed at the Iwate Prefectural Office in Morioka City and in Kamaishi City. Another movable ground antenna for the KIZUNA was set up in Ofunato City.
JAXA hit headlines in February when it announced that it plans to have a robot monitor things while human astronauts sleep. It will also record the health and stress levels of human beings on the ship, and communicate what they find back to Earth using Twitter.Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Janice McDuffee