Image: Govt of Japan
What’s New: Japan is increasing the number of its regional navigation satellites from 4 to either 7 or 11. Either way will allow users positioning, navigation, and timing independently from GPS.
Why It’s Important:
- Nations are concerned GPS may be disrupted by cyber, physical, or other attack. Many are looking for alternatives.
- This kind of project boosts a nation’s space-oriented and overall tech economy.
What Isn’t Clear Yet:
- How much added resilience this will give Japan and other users. Their system, QZSS, is now used to augment GPS and uses the same frequencies.
- The total number of satellites planned. Multiple press reports say 11. The official webpage says 7. The goal is to have at least 4 over Japan at any given time to enable an independent navigational solution in three dimensions.