Though aeronautical equipment remains the primary focus of Japan Aerospace, the major players in the Japanese and European space sectors are participating in the 2016 edition, which opened its doors at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition complex on 12th October.
Representing the Japanese space sector were national space agency Jaxa, Mitsubishi Heavy Industry (which designs and operates the HII), satellite builder Mitsubishi Electric , IHI (builder of the Epsilon light launcher) and satellite component supplier NEC.
The Mitsubishi Electric stand is dominated by a half-scale mockup of its DS2000 standard satellite platform, which already equips seven telecommunications satellites in orbit, with a further six to follow by 2018.
The Jaxa stand features the iBoss (Intelligent Building Blocks Concept for On-Orbit Satellite Servicing) project developed in cooperation with Germany’s DLR aerospace research centre and a number of German universities. The project is based on the assembly and maintenance of satellites in orbit, based on standarized modular cube units.
Also participating in the show is Japanese startup IST, which was created in 2011 and is currently gearing up for the December launch of its first Momo sounding rocket, designed to carry 20kg payloads to an altitude of 100km.
The European participation is spearheaded by Arianespace, with a stand located close to those of Jaxa and Mitsubishi Electric. The European firm has participated in the show ever since its Tokyo office opened in 1986. Over the past 30 years, Arianespace has signed 30 launch contracts with Japanese customers and currently holds a 70% share of the Japanese market. The current priority for the European firm is to secure customers for Ariane 6 from 2020 onwards … at the same time as Mitsubishi’s HIII is due to entre service.
Other European participants include Thales, Leonardo-Finmeccanica and OHB.