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ASER : Advanced Satellite Engineering Research project

ASER project was started in FY2003 under the contract from METI and NEDO. The purpose of the project is to develop key technologies for the next generation advanced satellite, utilizing the already developed technology through various preceding projects.
There are 5 assigned theme to be developed, namely

  1. 1) High capacity thermal control system technology
  2. 2) Next generation electric propulsion system
  3. 3) Precise correction experiment of the onboard X'tal oscillator by ground based atomic clock
  4. 4) Large size composite structure manufacturing technology
  5. 5) High energy density Li-ION battery system

The development results except for second theme was adopted in Quasi-Zenith Satellite-1 "MICHIBIKI". The MICHIBIKI was launched by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 18 on September 11, 2010.

METI: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
NEDO: New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization

1) High capacity thermal control system technology

This theme is the development of large heat dissipation capability thermal control system. The system consists of 3 dimensional heat pipe network which enables heat transfer to and from any part of the satellite structure so that equipment heat can be dissipated at coldest surface of the satellite system of any particular point of the time. The system was applied to "MICHIBIKI"

2) Next generation electric propulsion system

Hall thruster engine was selected as next generation electric thruster system since it can deliver relatively high thrust with high specific impulse.
Thruster and power supply unit was completed, and subjected to life test to demonstrate reliable operation. They achieved life test of 3000 hours.

3) Precise correction experiment of the onboard X'tal oscillator by ground based atomic clock

This system consists of on board crystal oscillator and ground based high accuracy atomic clock, linked by communication line with the satellite. The idea is to keep high clock accuracy by conventional crystal oscillator directly calibrated by ground based atomic clock with necessary error correction technology of the fluctuation due to the atmosphere and the ionosphere.
By employing this system, satellite clock with atomic accuracy can be attained with fraction of cost for on board crystal oscillator.
Verification test using MICHIBIKI was successful.

4) Large size composite structure manufacturing technology

Satellites are becoming more and more large in size these days. Up to now, large structure is manufactured as an assembly of many small piece parts, which hinders to lower the cost. This technology is to develop design and manufacturing technologies of large scale composite structure in single piece. Satellite main structure with more than 4 meters in length has been manufactured in single piece utilizing this technology.

5) High energy density Li-ION battery system

High energy density battery system with 175 Ah Li-ION battery cells has been developed. In order to assure reliable operation and long operating life on orbit, the battery system has a) Cell level over voltage protection circuit and b) Cell level bypass switch in case of cell open circuit failure.
The system was applied to "MICHIBIKI".

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