Newly introduced, highly automated operation system allows efficient in-orbit demonstration of onboard mission components
Axelspace Corporation has designed, built and is currently operating RAPIS-1 (RAPid Innovative payload demonstration Satellite 1), launched from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima, Japan on January 18, 2019 by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) as part of its “Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration Program”. After completing the in-orbit check-out of all the onboard instruments, RAPIS-1 has completed its initial operation phase and on March 31 it entered its normal operation phase, during which experiments for each of the seven mission components will be carried out.
At the same time, the company began operating the satellite with a fully automated operation system that has been recently completed. With this system, the teams responsible for each experimental component can submit mission requests through a dedicated web interface. These requests are automatically converted into an operation schedule and the created commands are transmitted to the satellite. Once an in-orbit experiment is complete, its data is downlinked to the ground station and made available through the same web interface. Unless an anomaly occurs, no human intervention is necessary in any of the above steps. Thanks to this level of automation, Axelspace is able not only to improve the reliability of operation by removing human errors, but also to reduce the running costs of the mission. Figure 1 shows a diagram of the RAPIS-1 operation system.
Fig. 1: RAPIS-1 Operation System
Head office location: Clip Nihonbashi Building 2-3F, 3-3-3 Nihonbashi-Honcho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0023,
President & CEO: Yuya Nakamura
Establishment: August 8, 2008
Capital stock: 4,537 Million JPY (including capital reserve)
Main business content: Solutions based on microsatellite technology, design and production of
microsatellites and related components, launch arrangements and operational support, business related
to microsatellite data