Japan Plans Expansion of Homegrown GPS Network to 11 Satellites

Japan intends to increase the number of satellites in its GPS-style system to 11 from four, letting users determine their precise location virtually anywhere in the country without relying on the American network.

Tokyo's space policy committee has set a goal to expand the Michibiki Quasi-Zenith Satellite System, a network of satellites in geosynchronous orbit above Japan and Australia.

Receiving signals from Michibiki as well as American GPS satellites allows users in the Asia-Oceania region to know their locations with an accuracy of several centimetres. GPS alone is said to be accurate to within several metres for civilian use.

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