WINDS / Kizuna
WINDS (Wideband InterNetworking engineering test and Demonstration Satellite, also known as Kizuna), is a Japanese communication satellite. Launch was originally scheduled for 2007. The launch date was eventually set for 15 February 2008, however a problem detected in a second stage manoeuvring thruster delayed it to 23 February. Lift-off occurred at 08:55 GMT on 23 February, and the satellite separated from the carrier rocket, into a Geosynchronous transfer orbit at 09:23, launched by an H-IIA carrier rocket from the Tanegashima Space Centre. It will be used to relay the internet to Japanese homes and businesses, through Ka-Band signals. It will also develop technologies to be utilised by future Japanese communication spacecraft. It is part of Japan's i-Space programme, and is to be operated by JAXA and NICT.
JAXA claim that WINDS will be able to provide 155 Mb/s download speed to home users with 45-centimetre diameter satellite dishes, whilst providing industrial users, via 5-metre diameter dishes, with 1.2 Gb/s speeds.
WINDS has a launch mass of 4,850 kg, reducing to around 2,750 kg when in orbit. The spacecraft is 8 m x 3 m x 2 m in size, and its solar panels have a span of 21.5 metres. It has three-axis stabilisation, and a design life expectancy of five years.
KIZUNA will lead to ultra-high speed international Internet-based communications. The technology takes advantage of the fact that satellite communications are far-reaching, multicasting, and disaster-resistant. It will enable high-speed, large-volume data transmission, allowing ultra-fast domestic and international Internet-based communications, in particular between Japan and its neighboring countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
Ultra-fast satellite-based Internet-based communications will remove the so-called digital divide by providing high-speed Internet service in areas where the terrestrial communications infrastructure is poor. Among other uses, this will make possible great advances in telemedicine, which will bring high-quality medical treatment to remote areas, and in distance education, connecting students and teachers separated by great distances.