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Information Gathering Satellite

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Information Gathering Satellite (情報収集衛星, Jōhō Shūshū Eisei) are the satellites of the Japanese spy satellite program. It was started as a response to the 1998 North Korean missile test over Japan. The satellite program's main mission is to provide early warning of impending hostile launches in the region. This program is under the direct control of the cabinet. All Information Gathering Satellites have been launched by H-IIA rockets from the Tanegashima Space Center.


On 28 March 2003, presumably partly in response to North Korea's launch of a Taepodong-1 missile over Japan in 1998, and partly to provide a source of satellite images other than through cooperation with the US, where the US charged roughly US$10,000 for each satellite image,[citation needed] Japan launched a radar and an optical spy satellite, officially known as IGS 1A and IGS 1B.[1]·[1] These satellites follow one another at 37-minute separation in a 492 km orbit, which passes over Pyongyang at 11:22 each day, according to observations collected on the satellite watching mailing list.[citation needed]

The program suffered a setback when Japan lost the second pair of satellites because of an H-IIA launch failure on 29 November 2003.[2]

Except the satellite which failed in launching, a second optical surveillance satellite IGS 3A was launched on 11 September 2006.[3]

A third optical satellite IGS 4A and a second radar satellite IGS 4B were launched on 24 February 2007. IGS 4A is a more advanced and experimental optical satellite.[4]

A fourth optical satellite IGS 5A was launched on 28 November 2009. This satellite has a higher resolution than the previous generations.[5]

Late March 2007, the first SAR satellite in the series, IGS 1B, suffered a critical power failure.[6]·[7] The satellite has since been observed to steadily come down and was clearly no longer under control.[8] An uncontrolled re-entry of this satellite occurred on 26 July 2012.[9] Since summer 2010, another of the SAR satellites, IGS 4B has also been unable to carry out its monitoring functions.[10]

On 9 February 2020, Japan launched IGS-Optical 7 reconnaissance satellite from the Tanegashima Space Center aboard an H-2A rocket. The launch had been delayed by 12-days due to a nitrogen leak, located within a system that provided conditioned air to the rocket, which was discovered sometime before the countdown to launch was aborted on 27 January. Following the discovery of the leak, the rocket was returned to its vertical assembly building, where it underwent repairs. Following the completion of the repairs, the rocket was rolled back out to Launch Pad No. 1 on 7 February, before the scheduled second launch attempt.[11]

List of launches

Launch Date (UTC) NORAD Designation Japanese Government Designation Sensor Type NORAD ID International code Status Generation Believed Resolution Initial Orbital Parameter Vehicle Result
28 March 2003 IGS 1A IGS-Optical 1 Optical 27698 2003-009A Retired 1st generation of optical Panchromatic sensor:
About 1 m (mono)
Multi-spectral sensor:
About 5 m (color)
486–491 km, 97.3°, 94.4 min H2A 2024 Success
IGS 1B IGS-Radar 1 SAR 27699 2003-009B Retired [6] 1st generation of SAR About 1~3 m
29 November 2003 N/A Nameless for launching failure Optical N/A N/A N/A 1st generation of optical Panchromatic sensor:
About 1 m (mono)
Multi-spectral sensor:
About 5 m (color)
N/A H2A 2024 Failure
N/A Nameless for launching failure SAR N/A N/A N/A 1st generation of SAR About 1~3 m
11 September 2006 IGS 3A IGS-Optical 2 Optical 29393 2006-037A Retired 2nd generation of optical
(Improved type)
1 m 478–479 km, 97.4°, 94.2 min H2A 202 Success
24 February 2007 IGS 4A IGS-Optical 3V Optical 30586 2007-005A Retired 3rd generation of optical
(Largely improved type)
About 60 cm 481–494 km, 97.2°, 94.4 min H2A 2024 Success
IGS 4B IGS-Radar 2 SAR 30587 2007-005B Retired [10] 2nd generation of SAR
(Improved type)
1 m
28 November 2009 IGS 5A IGS-Optical 3 Optical 36104 2009-066A Retired [12] 3rd generation of optical
(Largely improved type)
About 60 cm Unknown H2A 202 Success
22 September 2011 IGS 6A IGS-Optical 4 Optical 37813 2011-050A Retired 4th generation of optical About 60 cm Unknown H2A 202 Success
12 December 2011 IGS 7A IGS-Radar 3 SAR 37954 2011-075A Operational 3rd generation of SAR About 1 m Unknown H2A 202 Success
27 January 2013 IGS 8A IGS-Radar 4 SAR 39061 2013-002A Operational 3rd generation of SAR About 1 m Unknown H2A 202 Success
IGS 8B IGS-Optical 5V Optical 39062 2013-002B Retired 5th generation of optical 40 cm
1 February 2015 IGS 9A IGS-Radar Spare SAR 40381 2015-004A Operational 3rd generation of SAR About 1 m Unknown H2A 202 Success
26 March 2015 IGS O-5 IGS-Optical 5 Optical 40538 2015-015A Operational 5th generation of optical 30 cm [13] or 40 cm [14] Unknown H2A 202 Success
17 March 2017 IGS R-5 IGS-Radar 5 SAR 42072 2017-015A Operational 4th generation of SAR 50 cm [15] Unknown H2A 202 Success
27 February 2018 [16] IGS O-6 IGS-Optical 6 Optical 43223 2018-021A Operational Unknown H2A 202 Success
12 June 2018 IGS R-6 IGS-Radar 6 SAR 43495 2018-052A Operational Unknown H2A 202 Success
9 February 2020 [17] IGS O-7 IGS-Optical 7 Optical 45165 2020-009A Operational Higher performance than 30 cm[18] Unknown H2A 202 Success


  1. ^ a b "Analysis: Japan's spy satellites". News article. BBC NEWS. 28 March 2003. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  2. ^ "Japanese launch fails". News article. Spaceflight Now. 29 November 2003. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  3. ^ "Japan launches new spy satellite". News article. BBC NEWS. 11 September 2006. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  4. ^ "Japanese rocket puts spy spacecraft into orbit". News article. Spaceflight Now. 24 February 2007. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  5. ^ "Japan launches spy satellite under veil of secrecy". News article. Spaceflight Now. 28 November 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  6. ^ a b "Japanese Spy Satellite Suffers Critical Power Failure". News article. SPACE WAR. 27 March 2007. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  7. ^ "Japanese Spy Satellite Suffers Critical Power Failure". News article. Space War. 27 March 2007. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  8. ^ "An Update on IGS 1B". SatTrackCam Leiden. 6 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  9. ^ "The re-entry of IGS 1B on 26 July 2012". SatTrackCam Leiden. 8 August 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Govt to build backup intel satellite". News article. THE DAILY YOMIURI. 10 October 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
  11. ^ - 9 February 2020
  12. ^ 情報収集衛星光学3号機の運用終了について (PDF). Cabinet Secretariat. 15 September 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  13. ^ 「北」監視能力の向上期待 情報収集衛星打ち上げ成功 Sankei 26 March 2015
  14. ^ H2Aロケット28号機打ち上げ成功 情報収集衛星搭載 26 March 2015
  15. ^ 情報収集衛星打ち上げ成功 物体識別能力は従来の約2倍、夜間監視力が向上 Sankei, 17 March 2017
  16. ^ Japanese H-IIA launches IGS Optical 6 satellite. William Graham, NASASpaceflight. 26 February 2018.
  17. ^ - 8 February 2020
  18. ^ 情報収集衛星、打ち上げ成功 北朝鮮などを監視  Sankei Shimbun. 9 February 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 August 2021, at 20:39
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