Okinawa Tracking and Communication Station
About the Okinawa Tracking and Communication Station
The Okinawa Tracking and Communication Station was established in February 1968 as the Okinawa Radiowave Tracking Base of the then Science and Technology Agency (STA) Space Development Headquarters, which was affiliated with the then National Space Development Agency (NASDA) as its facility when NASDA was established in October 1969. In October 2003, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) was established, and the station became a JAXA facility.
The main role of the Station is to track and control satellites. It plays a role to maintain and control satellites by receiving radio waves from satellites in space to confirm their positions and attitudes and to learn if their onboard electronic devices are functioning properly. If necessary, command signals are also transmitted from the station to satellites.
At the station, we have two sets of tracking and control systems with parabolic antennas measuring 18 meters and 10 meters in diameter. In addition, there are the WINDS beacon station and a parabolic antenna with a diameter of 30 meters for visitors to look at. Two more tracking and control stations with a 7.6-meter parabolic antenna (covered by a raydome) were newly constructed.