Mitsubishi Electric Completes New Satellite Production Facility

New facility at Kamakura Works (Credit: Mitsubishi Electric Corporation)

https://www.mitsubishielectric.com/news/2020/0218-b.page

TOKYO, February 18, 2020  (Mitsubishi Electric Corporation PR) – Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) announced today that it has completed construction of a new facility for the production of satellites at the company’s Kamakura Works in Kamakura, Japan. Together with existing facilities, Mitsubishi Electric’s combined annual capacity will increase to 18 satellites, up from 10 at present, which will enable the company to satisfy the growing demand for governmental satellites in Japan and commercial communication satellites worldwide.

The new facility will increase production efficiency, shorten production time, reduce costs and elevate product quality for enhanced competitiveness. It will incorporate information technologies based on Mitsubishi Electric’s e-F@ctory solutions, which extract hidden benefits from existing resources through integrated automation to realize improved efficiencies, reduced costs and increased productivity. In addition, the new facility will incorporate Mitsubishi Electric products, such as a heat pump air-conditioning system, LED lights and high-efficiency transformers to further reduce energy consumption.

The Japanese market for governmental satellites is expected to grow under the country’s Basic Plan for Space Policy, which calls for the development of observation, communication and positioning satellites that support daily life and facilitate the commercial use of space for the enhancement of Japan’s industrial and scientific foundations. Last year, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced its participation in the U.S. government’s Gateway project targeting a manned station near the moon, which is expected to stimulate increased demand for governmental satellites. Separately, the global market for small communication and observation satellites also is envisioned growing.

Mitsubishi Electric’s long involvement with satellites includes the Himawari-7, -8 and -9 weather satellites, the Superbird-C2-Japan’s first commercial communications satellite, QZS high-accuracy positioning satellite systems, and the Es’hail-2 for Qatar Satellite Company in Qatar. Going forward, Mitsubishi Electric aims to more widely apply technologies it cultivates for governmental satellites to enhance its position in expanding fields, such as next-generation-engineering test satellites.

New Satellite Production Facility

LocationKamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Building area6,700 m2
StructureFour-story reinforced-concrete structure
Floor area13,300 m2
Main products• Satellite systems for observation, communications, positioning, etc.
• Satellite on-board components
Production capacity18 satellites (together with existing facilities)
Installed equipmentLarge thermal vacuum chamber, large vibration table, antenna test range, etc.
InvestmentApproximately 11 billion yen
Green initiativesHeat pump air-conditioning system, LED lights and high-efficiency transformers

Mitsubishi Electric’s Space Systems Business

Mitsubishi Electric, a leading manufacturer in the field of space research and development, has participated in the production of more than 600 Japanese and international satellites as either the prime contractor or a major subcontractor. In 2000, the company became the first Japanese manufacturer capable of developing, designing, assembling and testing satellites at a single location. The company’s Kamakura Works is equipped with one of Japan’s largest thermal-vacuum testing chambers, an acoustic test chamber and an antenna test range. To date, this leading facility has produced many satellites as well as electronic modules for the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV), which is purposed for unmanned cargo resupply in outer space.

Mitsubishi Electric strengthened its presence in the global satellite market when it was selected to supply the TURKSAT-4A and -4B satellites to Turkey’s Turksat A.S. in March 2011. The two satellites are based on Mitsubishi Electric’s DS2000 satellite platform for the development of highly reliable satellites. In May 2011, Mitsubishi Electric delivered its ST-2 communications satellite into geostationary orbit for a joint venture between Singapore Telecommunications Limited and Taiwan-based Chunghwa Telecom Company Limited. In 2014, the company was awarded a contract to deliver the Es’hail 2 communications satellite to operator Qatar Satellite Company (Es’hailSat).