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Mar. 1, 2019 Updated
New Dataset Release: GCOM-C/SGLI

JAXA GCOM-C (Global Change Observation Mission - Climate "SHIKISAI") satellite was launched on Dec. 23rd, 2017 to conduct long-term and continuous global observations in order to elucidate the global warming mechanisms related to fluctuations in radiation budget and/or carbon cycles etc.

The onboard sensor SGLI (Second Generation Global Imager) can observe 19 bands of radiations from near-ultraviolet to thermal infrared region (380 nm-12 µm), which yield various physical properties related to cloud, water, snow, ice, aerosol, sea, land, vegetation, biomass, chlorophyll a, and photosynthesis. The spatial resolution and swath of SGLI are 250m and greater than 1,000 km respectively and the whole globe can be scanned approximately in every two days.

SGLI can observe 15 Essential Climate Variables (ECV) such as cloud, aerosols, vegetation, etc. and its data are expected to contribute to improve the projection accuracy of climate change and also to predict fishing grounds, yellow sands, red tides, etc.

The released products can be downloaded via JAXA G-Portal ( https://gportal.jaxa.jp/ )

Contact Point: JAXA G-portal help desk:mailaddress

1. Events after the launch

The data was released as scheduled according to the following operations.
December 23, 2017Launch of GCOM-C (SHIKISAI)
January 1, 2018 Obtained First Light images
March 28, 2018 Started initial calibration and validation operations
December14, 2018Completed initial calibration and validation operations

2. The overview of Initial calibration and validation operations

To detect tiny climate change signals, higher accuracy products are needed. JAXA performed calibration with GCOM-C function using solar light, internal lamps, black body, lunar light and others, and compared (calibration and validation) GCOM-C observation value with ground observation data acquired in cooperation with ground observation networks (Skynet, AERONET and AsiaFlux) and collaborating research institutes (universities, Meteorological Research Institute, JAMSTEC and NOAA). As a result of the calibration, JAXA confirmed that the accuracy of 29 types of products covering land, atmosphere, ocean and cryosphere is attained to start data utilization.

3. GCOM-C/SGCLI Standard Products


Further information for the definition of the product and sample data is available at;

1) Chlorophyll-a Concentration


Global chlorophyll-a concentration (average of October 2018)

2) Aerosols


Polarization radiance at 867nm (average from August 11 to 20, 2018)

3) Global vegetation index (NDVI)

The image is a map of global normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) derived from SGLI observation data acquired during January 1st to 9th 2018. NDVI becomes high at active vegetation with high density, indicating the spatial distribution of vegetation on the global scale.


Feb. 25, 2019 Updated
[HAYABUSA2 PROJECT] Image from just after touchdown

From February 20 to 22, we conducted the touchdown operation (TD1-L8E1) of Hayabusa2 on the surface of asteroid Ryugu. Figure 1 shows an image taken with the Optical Navigation Camera – Wide angle (ONC-W1) during the spacecraft ascent after touchdown.

Figure 1 was captured roughly 1 minute after touchdown at an estimated altitude of about 25m (error is a few meter). The color of the region beneath the spacecraft’s shadow differs from the surroundings and has been discolored by the touchdown. At the moment, the reason for the discoloration is unknown but it may be due to the grit that was blown upwards by the spacecraft thrusters or bullet (projectile).

Figure 1: Image captured near the touchdown site immediately after touchdown. The photograph was taken with the Optical Navigation Camera – Wide angle (ONC-W1) on February 22, 2019 at an onboard time of around 07:30 JST.
(Image credit: JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu, AIST.)

[HAYABUSA2 PROJECT] Image from just after touchdown

Feb. 20, 2019 Updated
H.E. Mr. William F. Hagerty, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, visited Tsukuba Space Center

H.E. Mr. William F. Hagerty, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, visited Tsukuba Space Center on February 15, 2019.

JAXA and the U.S. related organizations have built a long and close relationship in a wide range of activities including the International Space Station and space exploration, Earth and space science, aeronautics research and so on.

Ambassador Hagerty visited the Exhibition Hall "Space Dome" and the Kibo* Mission Control Room, and the Ambassador also met with Dr. Hiroshi Yamakawa, President of JAXA, or other JAXA officials. Both sides exchanged views on aerospace cooperation between JAXA and its counterpart agencies in the U.S.

*Kibo; Japanese Experiment Module of the International Space Station

Jan. 21, 2019 Updated
[HAYABUSA2 PROJECT] Locations on the surface of Ryugu have been named!

Place names for locations on the surface of Ryugu were discussed by Division F (Planetary Systems and Bioastronomy) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature and approved in December 2018. We will introduce the place names and the background to their selection.

[HAYABUSA2 PROJECT] Locations on the surface of Ryugu have been named!

Jan. 18, 2019 Updated
Successfully of Epsilon-4 Launch With The Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstoration-1 Aboard

At 9:50:20 a.m. (Japan Standard Time) January 18, 2019 JAXA launched Epsilon-4, the Fourth Epsilon launch vehicle With The Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstoration-1.

From the JAXA Uchinoura Space Center. The launch occurred on time. The launch and flight of Epsilon-4 took place normally. Approximately 51 minutes 55 seconds into the flight, the separation of "The Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstoration-1" proceeded, with confirmation as successful.

Successfully of Epsilon-4 Launch With The Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstoration-1 Aboard

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