QZSS (Quasi-Zenith Satellite System)

Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) is Japanese's version of GPS.

The QZSS, also known as Michibiki, is a four-satellite regional time transfer system and a satellite-based augmentation system development by the Japanese government to enhance the United States-operated Global Positioning System (GPS) in the Asia-Oceania regions, with a focus on Japan. The goal of QZSS is to provide highly precise and stable positioning services in the Asia-Oceania region, compatible with GPS. Four-satellite QZSS services were available on a trial basis as of January 12, 2018, and officially started on November 1, 2018. A satellite navigation system independent of GPS is planned for 2023 with 7 satellites.

QZSS uses one geostationary satellite and three satellites in Tundra-type highly inclined, slightly elliptical, geosynchronous orbits. Each orbit is 120° apart from the other two. Because of this inclination, they are not geostationary; they do not remain in the same place in the sky. Instead, their ground traces are asymmetrical figure-8 patterns (analemmas), designed to ensure that one is almost directly overhead (elevation 60° or more) over Japan at all times.

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