OICETS, the Optical Inter-Orbit Communications Engineering Test Satellite (other name Kirari) is an experimental satellite by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to demonstrate interorbital communication between satellites through optical (laser) means. OICETS was originally slated for a launch on the second J-I launcher. Unfortunately due to problems with this launcher, the launch had to be put on hold. Using the H-2A was out of question, since it would be overkill to use this model to send a 570 kg satellite into LEO. Also there was no budget for another H-2A launch. Finally, in order to be able to perform the tests during the lifetime of the European Artemis satellite, OICETS was successfully launched on a Dnepr launcher.
Operation finished by September 24, 2009.
- On December 9, 2005 Jaxa succeeded with establishing the optical links between OICETS (Kirari) and Artemis.
- During March 2006 a successful link between OICETS and a ground station in Japan was established. This is the first optical links connection between a fixed ground station and an LEO satellite.
- On June 7, 2006 Jaxa established a communication between OICETS and a mobile ground station operated by the German DLR.
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