AKARI (ASTRO-F) Power Generation Anomaly
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has been operating the Infrared Imaging Satellite "AKARI"(ASTRO-F,) which was launched on February 22, 2006, past its target life of three years and way beyond its minimum requirement operation period of one year. However, at around 5:30 a.m. on May 24 (Japan Standard Time,) we found that the satellite had shifted its operation to the low load mode (*1) due to power generation reduction, and all the onboard observation devices and the X-band transmitter were turned off. The anomaly was detected through data received at the Uchinoura Station.
Since then, the volume of its power storage has been decreasing, and electricity supply was completely stopped when the AKARI was in the shade. As the sunshine returned, the satellite was found to be back to the initial mode (*2) at 11:20 a.m.
Currently, electricity is provided to the satellite only when the solar array paddle is generating power. JAXA is investigating the cause of the anomaly and taking necessary measures.
*1 Low load mode: the mode to save power consumption to maintain the minimum function of the satellite.
*2 Initial mode: the initial conditions immediately after the satellite is turned on