On August 25, NOAA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) cut the ribbon on a monitoring station in Guam that will track spacecraft from JAXA’s upcoming Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS). Designed to work seamlessly with GPS, QZSS is a JAXA effort to improve navigation satellite coverage over Japan and surrounding areas. The new monitoring station, installed at NOAA’s Weather Forecast Office in Guam, will help JAXA track QZSS satellites as they fly over the South Pacific.
The Office of Space Commercialization played a central role in helping JAXA identify a suitable U.S. property in the Guam area for the QZSS monitor site. The Office also coordinated the legal agreement allowing JAXA to install equipment at the NOAA facility in exchange for data access. NOAA may incorporate data from the monitoring station into its U.S. network of Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS).
NOAA, Commerce, and the U.S. government strongly support QZSS because it is designed to be fully interoperable with GPS.