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OICETS (Kirari)


OICETS (Optical Inter-orbit Communication Engineering Test Satellite) enables communications between satellites via optical links.

OICETS will enable optical inter-orbit communications tests between satellites that are tens of thousands of kilometers apart. An optical inter-orbit communications system will bring various advantages: more stable communications with less interference; lighter, more compact communications equipment; and higher data transmission rates. These tests are expected to lead to new technologies that will support the development and utilization of space, including global data reception from Earth Observation satellites and continuous communication links with a manned space station.

OICETS is to be launched into a low Earth orbit in the fiscal year 2005, in order to conduct demonstrations with ARTEMIS, the latest geostationary satellite belonging to the European Space Agency (ESA).

After successfully reaching orbit, OICETS has been renamed Kirari.

At 2:48 p.m. on Sept. 24, 2009, signal transmissions to Kirari were terminated, and its operation was completed. Kirari was initially scheduled to be operated in orbit for about one year, but it survived for four years, much longer than the original plan.

Nation: Japan
Type / Application: Research, Laser communication
Operator: NASDA → JAXA
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 1 year (planned), 4 years (reached)
Mass: 570 kg
Orbit: 597 km × 612 km, 97.83
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
OICETS (Kirari) 2005-031A 23.08.2005 Ba LC-109/95 Dnepr with INDEX, "Turkmenistan Memorial Capsule"