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QPS-SAR-5 TSUKUYOMI-I’s First Light images

Fukuoka, JAPAN – January 17th , 2024 – Institute for Q-shu Pioneers of Space, Inc. (iQPS) released its first light images from QPS-SAR-5, named “TSUKUYOMI-I” which was launched on December 15th 2023 by Rocket Lab Electron “The Moon God Awakens” Mission into an orbit with an altitude of approximately 575 km and an orbital inclination of 42 degrees. After about one month of calibration, TSUKUYOMI-I has achieved successfully its Stripmap mode first light images. iQPS will enhance image quality further by fine-tuning satellite attitude control and commence observations in Spotlight mode (high-resolution mode) which will achieve both azimuth and range resolutions of 0.46m.

<Overview of First light images >

Observation dates
& times
①18:11(JST)January 16th, 2024
②14:46(JST)January 15th, 2024
③19:44(JST)January 13th, 2024
Locations①Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima (Weather: Cloudy)
②Wajima-shi, Ishikawa (Weather: Cloudy)
③Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka (Weather: Cloudy)
Resolution of
first light images
①Ground plane resolution of Azimuth direction 1.8m,
Range direction 0.49m, Off-nadir angle 27.7°
②Ground plane resolution of Azimuth direction 1.8m,
Range direction 0.50m, Off-nadir angle 26.9°
③Ground plane resolution of Azimuth direction 1.8m,
Range direction 0.57m, Off-nadir angle 23.7°

TSUKUYOMI-I has observation mode of Standard mode (Stripmap mode) which is 1.8 m resolution and High Resolution mode (Spotlight mode) which is 0.46m resolution. Our first lights are observed by Standard mode (Stripmap mode).

<First Light Images>

In the initial operational phase, QPS-SAR initiates test observations from a low-power state, gradually increasing the output while proceeding with adjustments. The image of Hiroshima-shi in [Fig.1] is the result of observations conducted using the steady-state output of “TSUKUYOMI-I.” The image of Wajima-shi in [Fig.2] was observed at approximately half the output during adjustment, while the observation of the Kanmon Strait in Kitakyushu-shi in [Fig.3] was conducted at about one-fourth of the output.

[Fig.1] Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima

[Fig.1-1] Hiroshima Castle

[Fig.1-2] Cars lined up at the port

[Fig.2] Wajima-shi, Ishikawa

[Fig.3] Kanmon Strait, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka & Shimonoseki-shi, Yamaguchi

Shunsuke Onishi, CEO message
“We are very pleased to release the first light images of TSUKUYOMI-I, our second commercial satellite, about a month after its launch, and would like to express my sincere gratitude to the operation team and all other supporters. TSUKUYOMI-I is launched into an inclined orbit and passes over the same point five or six times a day in the mid-latitudes, including Japan, making it possible to make more observations than a satellite in sun-synchronous orbit and from various directions. This is pivotal for the near-real-time data provision service we are aiming for. Now we will continue to make steady progress step by step toward observations in high-resolution mode”.