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Aerospace & Defense Industries

Japan plans expansion of homegrown GPS network to 11 satellites

Increase from 4 means Tokyo won't need to depend on U.S. system

A rendering of one of the satellites that comprise Japan's Michibiki system. (Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Electric)

TOKYO -- Japan intends to increase the number of satellites in its GPS-style system to 11 from four, letting users determine their precise location virtually anywhere in the country without relying on the American network.

Tokyo's space policy committee has set a goal to expand the Michibiki Quasi-Zenith Satellite System, a network of satellites in geosynchronous orbit above Japan and Australia.

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