Press Release

  This press release is issued by NASDA.


Report of Meeting of the subcommittee for NASDA Evalution

October 25, 2000 (JST)

National Space Development Agency of Japan

The National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) has held the meeting of evalution subcommittee for each field of sctivities from march to august 2000.
The following is the report of each subcommittee

The 3rd evaluation Report
Subcommittee for Satellite Engineering

June, 2000
Subcommittee for Satellite Engineering

Subcommittee for Satellite Engineering
Co-chair man

1. Prehistory

Because of the launch failure of the H-II launch vehicle in autumn 1999, all of NASDA's satellite plans had to be reviewed. Since NASDA stopped submitting requests for new satellite plans to Space Activities Commission (SAC) at the review session of satellite development in FY2000, the Subcommittee for Satellite Engineering was not intending to hold a meeting in FY2000. However, special government projects related to IT suddenly emerged in connection with the election for the House of Representatives and the Okinawa Summit. Accordingly, NASDA started preparations to submit a request to the government for the "i-space" project in the field of satellite communications. Therefore, the Subcommittee for Satellite Engineering was forced to hold a meeting in haste to evaluate this new project before the scheduled meeting of the SAC Committee on Planning in August 2000.

Under the circumstances, NASDA judged that it was physically impossible to hold a meeting with the presence of all the subcommittee members, and so decided to hold the meeting with the presence of domestic subcommittee members only to send the submission materials to overseas subcommittee members. In addition, NASDA intended to seek a comment from the joint Co-chairperson, Pelton and explained the situation by telephone or E-mail and so on. and asked for their opinions to include them for drawing up the report.

2. Meeting of the Subcommittee for Satellite Engineering

Date and time: July 21 (Friday) 10:00 - 17:30
Place: No.1 and No. 2 conference rooms on the 28th floor of NASDA headquarters
Progress of proceedings: Shown in Appendix 1

Mailing the materials to members, Recording the contact situation:

July 17 Secretariat sent Materials on i-Space project to the domestic subcommittee members
July 18 Secretariat sent Materials on i-Space project to the overseas members
July 21 Secretariat had a telephone conference with Co-Chair,. Pelton
July 21 the domestic evaluation committee meeting was held
August 7 Secretariat sent the draft evaluation report in Japanese to the domestic members
August 11 Secretariat sent the draft evaluation report in English to the overseas members
August 22 The evaluation report will be finally completed

3. Evaluation of [i-space] project

3.1 Overall evaluation of the project

  • It is highly evaluated that NASDA will formulate a satellite project focusing on practical utilization of satellites.
    "So far, NASDA has not actively promoted the use of satellites after launch. Therefore, outside evaluations of NASDA have greatly depended on the success of the satellite launch itself. This tendency has prevailed in the satellite communications experiment projects, in particular, because these projects have been mainly carried out using a series of Engineering Test Satellites (ETS). Also, as for the overall satellite plan itself, NASDA has tended to focus on demonstrating advanced technology. However, the world of telecommunication is undergoing great change, and so excellent technology may not necessarily survive. Even the researchers and engineers who develop satellite communications technology should always consider the practical uses of their work."
  • The detailed particular of the project has not been satisfactory and a clearer scenario needs to be developed.
    "This project requires detailed investigations on a wide range of many elements, including the purpose and features of the project, technologies to be developed, existing needs, expected utilization methods, international cooperation, economic effects, cost (including both the costs of the overall project and the services provided), integrated system structure, time schedule, vision for future development and so forth. Also, from the viewpoints of necessity, feasibility, inevitability, validity, and potential, the overall concept should be thoroughly drawn up if it is to be persuasive. The equipment and infrastructure necessary for carrying out relevant experiments should be also studied."


  • There have been made previous examples in the fields of education and medical treatment and some examples have already been put to practical use. First, NASDA should accurately assess past results and the present situation, and then should use the results to show freshness and necessity in terms of both technology and services. For example, it is vital to explain clearly the service merits that could be brought by increasing the transmission rate. In the fields of education and medical treatment, it is important to formulate a project, paying special attention to the significance of international cooperation and contribution.
  • It is important to devise a service structure using the characteristics of satellite communications.
    Is there any possibility of making integrated use of the surface-covering characteristic of satellite communications (broadcasting) as well as its linear characteristics like the Internet (one-to-one communication)?
    Data-stored broadcasting has not yet been realized, but pilot experiments are worth conducting.
  • Since NASDA will formulate a project including ways of using the satellite, NASDA must carry out a wide-ranging investigation that is very different from those done in the past.
    It is necessary to examine the existing technologies and services including those for ground fiber systems and ground mobile systems.
    When formulating the i-space project, the project must include staff who can consider business plans. It is also necessary to invite organizations and human resources from a wide area, including private users, to help plan and implement the experiments of the i-space project.
    In order to link the results of the experiment to practical use in the future, the protocol and interface that NASDA adopts should be globally acceptable. From the beginning of the planning, NASDA must remember that this project will be carried out through international cooperation and international alliances. In adopting the protocol and interface, NASDA must carefully consider issues of communication security and privacy protection.
    Cost is one of the most important factors. In planning and designing the integrated system including the satellite, NASDA must always consider the economics. NASDA must carry out the project based on a serious investigation of the costs of the system and services, and on the cost performance against the needs of users in the future (service provided by the government, and service use of the general public including corporations).
    On the other hand, NASDA should allow organizations and people from a wide area to participate in the project, by broadening its view and providing places for new utilization and demonstration that users can freely choose (high-precision cyber- space).
  • The i-space concept demonstrates that NASDA is determined to enter the field of satellite utilization, and so must prepare itself accordingly.
    Unless NASDA carries out this project in collaboration with the community in each field of utilization, satisfactory results may not be achieved, or the project may not lead to further utilization. This is a key point for the success of the project.
  • It is necessary to investigate the importance of national security regarding satellite communications in a broad sense and to incorporate this issue into the project. In addition to security items directly connected with the lives of the people such as protection against disasters and the global environment, it is necessary to investigate issues such as economic development and to cultivate scientific and technological skills. The role and effects of such items in the broad sense of national security must be investigated for arranging the main issues and uniting NASDA's understanding of this topic in the future.
  • Satellite communications is effective for solving the so-called digital divide in areas where communication infrastructure is not properly prepared. In carrying out the i-space project, NASDA should attach importance to international cooperation and contribution, and on alliances with the Asia-Pacific regions in particular.

4. High-speed Internet Communications Satellite

4.1 Discussion

  • It may be worth studying the satellite utilization programs by placing the i-space concept at its center. In the course of studies, the specific requirements of the High-speed Internet Communications Satellite must be flexible enough and adjustable, to reflect possible refinements of the i-space scenario, the results of ETS-VIII evaluation, and so forth. Therefore, we hope that NASDA father study the specification and design of the satellite according to an evaluation report.
  • It has been pointed out that the opinions in the "Subcommittee for Satellite Engineering evaluation reports" for the year before last as well as last year, describing "if a single satellite has more than two high-risk items that could cause catastrophic results of the whole program, such program should not be pursued", should be duly respected and considered when developing detailed plans of the satellite.
  • Programming of ETS-VIII was already in the development stage when the evaluation subcommittee was instituted (2 years ago). Although it was not quite possible to revise or review any of the detailed plans, comments have been provided in the reports of the past two years. As NASDA was expected to take necessary action to adjust the program in line with these comments, no evaluation has been made in this report. However, the magnitude of the impact of the results of the ETS-VIII program on the High-speed Internet Communications Satellite program as well as the i-space program must be considered.


  • If it is intended to integrate the current satellite program (ETS-VIII) into the i-space concept, the conceptual improvements should be fed back accordingly not only to the High-speed Internet Communications Satellite but also to the contents (at least experimental programs) of the existing satellite programs.
  • To pursue the i-space concept, the adequacy of scope and magnitude of the program, and therefore the composition and size of the satellite must be thoroughly studied and evaluated.
    For instance, H-IIA would be one of the absolute premises (limitations) in determining the size of the satellite. The subcommittee members raised questions such as: "Why should it be a 4.6-ton satellite?" "Why are 4 beams or 3 beams necessary for verification experiments?" "Why can't it have 2 beams?" and "Why are three different data rates and three different antenna sizes required?"
    First, a study should be conducted to clarify the purposes and necessities regarding the required scope of the ultra-high-speed communications experiments and verifications, how to deal with digital divide problems, and so forth. Based on the clarified purposes and requirements, comparative designs and comparative evaluations will be undertaken for the required services and systems, or satellite designs.
    Besides, it should be noted that i-Space project would be an unique opportunity at hand for Japan in the advanced technology development of satellite communications. In addition, i-Space project should be planned fully considering practical and commercial views such as development of new frequency or advanced modem and technical development from a long view
  • The future development of the i-space programs and the future communications satellite programs should be discussed.

5. Quasi-GEO Satellite

The concept of this satellite has been presented to the subcommittee meeting. However, ,future development needs to be flexibly considered. The major opinions of the subcommittee members are listed below.

  • Some Japanese organizations are strongly interested and very active in developing the Quasi-GEO satellite systems. Therefore, as one of our options, it would be worthwhile studying the development of a satellite program with clearly defined utilization programs in cooperation with such companies. In future space development programs, this would be an outstanding example of full cooperation between the Japanese Government and industry as equal partners.
  • Why not concentrate on demonstrating the effectiveness of the satellite service systems by pursuing a smaller, simpler, and less expensive satellite?
  • For utilization purposes, it may be effective to provide interpolating and correcting GPS information, supplemental and renewal data, etc. positioning services by distributing maps; or mobile broadcasting services with emphasis on entertainment and amusement.

Although GPS was originally developed for military use, it has been made available and used by the private sector within a limited scope. Of the various satellite systems, it has been utilized more widely, more sophisticatedly, more actively and more effectively in the private sector than communications satellites. However, it was introduced about 20 years ago, so a next-generation system needs to be introduced. Also, as it was developed for military use, there are many inconveniences and problems for public and commercial users. Introduction of a comparable system is being planned in Europe. Various studies were made on future systems also in Japan. In the meantime, various political movements as well as improvements such as abandonment of SA (intentionally varying the frequencies to degrade the resolution for non-military use) have been made in the US toward making the next-generation GPS the standard system for the world.

For reasons of international coordination and cooperation, and from a cost performance standpoint, we have very little to gain by maintaining and operating our own system. However, wide-ranging investigations and researches, development of state-of-the-art technologies, various improvements for better accuracy and availability, and development and operation of support systems would be required and very useful. Especially, Japan is one of the system's most active users in a wide variety of fields ranging from car navigation to seismic prediction in sophisticated ways. As the needs for the system are so great, introduction of the system would be expected to bring us maximum effects. In addition, introduction of a new system would contribute to the development of the Asian-Pacific region.

6. Conclusion

As described above, the current evaluation request was made rather abruptly, and so the subcommittee meeting was held not in the normal way, with the attendance of domestic members only.

Although the presented i-space concept was formulated in unfavorable situations and with severe and frequent abrupt changes in environment and its detailed particular needs to be further studied and improved, it suggests a new direction for future development of communications satellites. Therefore, i-space program should continue to be developed actively.

Satellite communications are the only commercialized field of space development and utilization programs, and are expected to expand in the future. The field has great potential. We hope that the i-space concept will serve as the first step in revitalizing our space development efforts. The key to success is participation by a wide range of communities with active, whole-hearted forward-looking cooperation by the Government, industry and academia. For this purpose, we hope that NASDA serves as coordinator.

Agenda of the domestic meeting of the Subcommittee for Satellite Engineering JFY2000 NASDA Evaluation

Date and time: July 21 (Friday) 10:00 - 17:30
Place: No.1 and No. 2 conference rooms on the 28th floor of NASDA headquarters

10:00 - 10:10 pening Remarks and Introduction of Agenda
10:10 - 11:00 1) NASDA's Current Situation
10:10 - 10:40 1. The results of clearing up the cause of launch failure of
H-II including its reflection on H-IIA
10:40 - 11:00 2. Committee for moving on NASDA Reform and
NASDA's action to the report of ad hoc meeting
11:00 - 11:10 Coffee Break
11:10 - 12:00 2) Current Situation of Office of Satellite Systems
11:10 - 11:35 1. Status report of NASDA activities
11:35 - 12:00 2. Change and its going of each satellite project
12:00 - 13:30 Lunch Break
13:30 - 15:00 3) New project
- i-Space Project
15:00 - 15:15 Coffee Break
15:15 - 17:30 4) Overall Discussion
main sense of the evaluation report and so forth
17:30 Closing Remarks
*18:00 - 19:30 Convivial Banquet at Conference Room No.3

Member List of Subcommittee for Satellite Engineering

Co-Chairpersons Nobuyoshi FUGONO
President, Suppport Center for Advanced Telecommunications Technology Research, Foundation

Joseph N. PELTON
Professor of Telecommunications, University of ColoradoInstitute for Applied Space Reserch, George Washington University

Members Fumio HARASHIMA
President, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Technology

Yasuhiko YASUDA
Prof., Dept. of Electronics and Communication Eng.School of Science and Engineering, Waseda University

Takashi KIDA
Prof., Dept. of Electro-Communications University of Electro-Communications

Prof., Faculty of Engineering, Kagoshima University

Chief Engineer, System Engineering Dept., PerfecTV Corporation

Vinod J. MODI
Prof. Emeritus, Department of Mechanical Engineering University of British Columbia

Stephen Z. GUNTER
Technical Manager, Mission Information Systems Engineering Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Manager, Satellite Communications Applications ProgramCommunications Research Centre

Niels E. Jensen
Head of Technology & Science Studies Department ESA/ESTEC

Executive Secretary Shinichi KIMURA
Senior Researcher, Space Technology Section, Space Communications Division Communications Research Laboratory, Minisry of Posts and Telecommunications

The 3rd evaluation Report
Subcommittee for Research and Development

June, 2000
Subcommittee for Research and Development


The Subcommittee for the Research and Development met on May 26, 2000 at NASDA Shiba Branch in Tokyo. The Subcommittee was chaired by H. Kubota and S. L. Venneri.
As the SELENE lunar mission project is under consideration to be restructured for risk reduction and ensuring mission success, the Subcommittee evaluated its plans and approach. The status of action taken to bring innovation into the operation of the Office of Research and Development was also reviewed. The findings and recommendations on these two topics are included in this evaluation report.

1. Introduction

The Subcommittee for Research and Development met at NASDA Shiba Branch, Tokyo, Japan on May 26, 2000 to evaluate the restructured SELENE project, and to review the progress made in restructuring of the Office of Research and Development. The restructuring in the Office of Research and Development is to reflect changes to achieve technology innovation and coordination external to NASDA to establish a technology foundation for space programs for the 21st century. The Subcommittee expresses its gratitude for the Office's sincere support in the evaluation process.
Recommendations and Findings of the Subcommittee are as shown below.

2. Recommendations to the SELENE project

a) The Subcommittee made recommendations in the past meetings to develop and implement a comprehensive risk management system for the SELENE project. The Subcommittee endorses the revision of the SELENE project and plans to integrate this complex undertaking between NASDA, ISAS and NAL. The launch failure of H-II #8 rocket emphasizes the need to implement a risk management approach that bounds uncertainty in engineering design processes and establishes processes to ensure mission success.
b) The original SELENE program of single launch of two complex spacecraft was divided into two separate spacecraft that would be launched independently of each other. This action resulted from NASDA's response to the Subcommittee's recommendation to undertake a comprehensive risk management assessment of the original SELENE program. This restructured program consists of two spacecraft: the SELENE-A spacecraft project planned for launch in 2004 will observe the moon from lunar orbit and conduct on-orbit obstacle detection experiments and the second spacecraft: the SELENE-B tentatively planned for launch in 2006 will land a vehicle on the moon. The Subcommittee endorses the restructuring approach and risk mitigation efforts including critical technology development undertaken to ensure mission success in the SELENE-A and SELENE-B mission. NASDA should ensure that formal risk management tools be applied to all phases of the SELENE-A and SELENE-B program development. This includes methods such as FEMA (Failure Effects and Mode Analysis) and FTA (Fault Tree Analysis). This will assign risk as a factor to be included in the total lifecycle design process and used to structure the necessary technology activities required for both SELENE-A and SELENE-B spacecraft.
c) In the SELENE-A project, the original plan to measure the lunar libration is eliminated, but a small satellite (VRAD) with VLBI capability will be placed in the lunar orbit to conduct space-based VLBI observations. This change will allow higher scientific observations for lunar gravitational field measurements two or three times better than the original SELENE program. The original one-year observation mission objectives will be achieved and consideration to extend mission operations and increase scientific knowledge due to propellant gains from this restructured spacecraft design is possible. This redesigned spacecraft can perform basic experiments on obstacle detection. The Subcommittee recommends this consideration for obstacle detection and avoidance using the SELENE-A spacecraft be included in the risk mitigation strategy for development of the SELENE-B mission.
d) In the SELENE-B project to land a vehicle on the moon, it is necessary to make efforts to complete the technology development of obstacle detection and avoidance, overturn prevention, etc. The Subcommittee recognizes the critical nature of technology products for this phase of the project. Autonomous landing without intervention from earth represents the most challenging mission risk for this phase. The emphasis in the planning to date has focused on hardware development and verification and does not adequately address the critical nature of software development and verification for this difficult soft landing phase.
e) Including NAL in the SELENE-B project now results in having three major space agencies of Japan working together on this project. The Subcommittee recognizes cultural differences can exist between these agencies and again emphasizes the need for ensuring a single effective team is structured for all management processes and timely decision-making.
f) The Subcommittee recognizes the nature of the SELENE project will have a major impact on the development of the future space technology capability of Japan and provides NASDA with the technology products to plan and implement even more complex space missions in the future.

3. Findings

(1) The Subcommittee recognizes that the Office of Research and Development has been planning and incorporating innovation internal to their operations by taking action on the Subcommittee recommendations of June 1999.
(2) The Subcommittee reviewed the plans and results to date for emphasizing innovation changes in the Office of Research and Development.
a) Following the revision of NASDA's overall policy, the Office of Research and Development has been achieving innovation along with two basic policies enacted in 1999 (the Office should be the center of creation and accumulation of space technologies for the future, and be the expert group for defining and using highly sophisticated technologies). In general, the innovation is making progress.
b) The innovation policy of the Office of Research and Development is gradually being understood by all the members through meetings between Research Inspector and each expert group, and discussions about research goals and budget allocation at Chief Staff Meetings.
c) Research and project planning is being strengthened through research concept planning, concept design systems and cooperation with other related institutes.
d) Expert training and advanced research connected to projects are contributing to project achievement.
e) Testing and verification processes will be strengthened by shifting emphasis from testing to analysis and verification in the Environmental and Structural Test Laboratory and establishment of the System Analysis and Software Research and Development Center. Also, NASDA is planning to implement IV&V (Independent Verification & Validation) to establish a system that will independently evaluate results from a viewpoint of experts to enhance its software assurance and reliability.
f) Research systems open to external researchers are strengthened.
(3) The Subcommittee acknowledges the progress achieved to date but recognizes that, for further implementation of the above innovation, efforts to enhance technological expertise and to increase human resources for research are needed.
(4) The Subcommittee recommends that the Office of Research and Development include in their plans a outreach process to the general public that clearly shows how R & D investments and new technology products impact all the people in their daily life and provide benefits to them that goes beyond today's capability.

4. Summary

The Subcommittee evaluated the restructured SELENE project. The Subcommittee endorses the restructuring of the project into two phases, the SELENE-A and the SELENE-B spacecraft systems in order to reduce mission risk by dividing the original mission concept into two independently launched spacecraft. The Subcommittee recognizes the importance of the technology development phase associated with mission success and again emphasizes the need to formally structure and implement risk assessment tools in all phases of the program development cycle. The Subcommittee recognizes that the activities of the Office of Research and Development reported during this evaluation are satisfactory in general.

Members of Subcommittee for Research and Development

Co-chairperson Prof. Hirotoshi Kubota
Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo

Mr. Samuel L. Venneri
Associate Administrator for Aerospace Technology & Chief Technologist, NASA

Member Prof. Nobuyoshi Fugono
President, Support Center for Advanced Telecommunications Technology Research, Foundation

Prof. Takashi Kida
Department of Electronic Engineering / Graduate School of Information systems, The University of Electro-Communications

Prof. Mikio Takagi
Dept. of Applied Electronics, Faculty of Science and Technology Science University of Tokyo

Dr. Shun Takeda
Chief Executive Officer, Aerospace Technology Promotion Foundation

Dr. Susumu Toda
Director-General, National Aerospace Laboratory

Executive Secretary Mr. Junji Shinjo
Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo

Meeting Schedule of Evaluation Subcommittee

May 26(Friday), 2000

09:30 Opening remark by Acting President
09:40 Orientation
09:45 Presentations (including Q&A)
  • Reports on the failure of H-II flight No.8 (55 min.)
  • SELENE Risk Reduction Measures (75 min.)
  • Progress in Restructuring the Office (25 min.)
12:20 Working Lunch
13:30 Discussion among the subcommittee members
17:45 Report from the Subcommittee to NASDA
18:20 Closing of the Subcommittee

The 3rd evaluation Report
Subcommittee for Space Transportation

May, 2000Subcommittee for Space Transportation

Subcommittee for Space Transportation
Co-chair man


The Space Transportation Evaluation Subcommittee held its third meeting in Tokyo on May 18-19, 2000. A list of those attending is attached. The subcommittee heard reports from NASDA regarding the recent modification of Japan's space development plan as a result of the failure of H-II flight 8, the results of the investigation of the causes of that failure, the revised development plan for the H-IIA rocket, and the status of continuing studies on small rocket systems (J-II). The committee was requested by NASDA to evaluate the proposed restructuring of the H-II Orbiting Plane - Experimental (HOPE-X) Program, and carried out that evaluation during its meeting.


The HOPE-X project was originally intended to lead to an operational vehicle, HOPE-XA, that would serve as a logistics vehicle for the International Space Station. The project has been substantially restructured over the past several years, and particularly after the failure of H-II Flight 8 in November 1999. The Space Activities Commission has developed a plan for future reusable space transportation systems within which the objective of the HOPE-X project has been changed to focus on developing advanced technologies for a future reusable launch vehicle (RLV). Based on this plan, which has not yet been formally approved, NASDA together with NAL has restructured the plans for HOPE-X. This restructured plan was the focus of the subcommitee's evaluation.

In its 1998 evaluation report, the subcommittee noted (p.5) that 'the most significant justification for the HOPE-X project seemed to the subcommittee to be the acquisition of technologies necessary for the development of a reusable launch vehicle (RLV)' and that 'a good working relationship between the HOPE-X project and reusable launch vehicle studies is clearly desirable.' In its 1999 report, the subcommittee noted (p.2) 'substantial progress' with respect to linking the HOPE-X program 'to the technologies and requirements of future reusable launch vehicles.'

Given this background of its previous views, the subcommittee strongly supports the proposed restructuring of the HOPE-X program to focus on advanced technology development within an overall Japanese plan for developing reusable space transportation systems. The restructuring plan seems very well designed to create the technological foundation in key areas essential to a future decision to develop a RLV. The subcommittee stresses the importance of a continuing effort by NASDA to integrate its HOPE-X activities with the overall national research and development scenario adopted by Japan for future space transportation system development. In particular, it is important to coordinate HOPE-X activities with the efforts to investigate alternative propulsion systems for a future RLV.

The subcommittee in its 1999 report suggested the desirability of having more than one flight model of HOPE-X, and thus welcomes NASDA's new plan to have three HOPE-X airframes and two sets of avionics, plus an adequate number of engines. This will provide the basis for a more robust program of developing and demonstrating a variety of technologies. The subcommittee recognizes the progress already made in developing technologies in areas such as aerodynamics, flight control, and thermal protection, and agrees that it is desirable to incorporate and demonstrate those technologies as part of the restructured HOPE-X program. The subcommittee also supports the intention to incorporate into the program new technologies in areas such as:

  1. reducing vehicle weight by large-scale monolithic composite molding and thereby decreasing the number of components and jigs required;
  2. achieving an innovative advanced avionics architecture by utilizing advanced commercial technologies;
  3. utilizing advanced information technologies to upgrade the information system of the overall project, based on complex large-scale software.

The subcommittee is impressed by NASDA's plan to adopt an innovative management approach to HOPE-X development, including a team approach that includes smaller venture companies as well as more traditional, larger aerospace companies and NASDA, NAL, and university engineers. The plan to use advanced information systems to facilitate communications among team members is both necessary and appropriate.

The subcommittee welcomes the adoption of a step-by-step approach to the development and demonstration program, and particularly the flight test program. It believes the close link between technology development and flight demonstration is an important feature of the restructured program, and helps guarantee its technological continuity. The subcommittee believes that international cooperation, such as NASDA/NAL-CNES cooperation in the second high speed flight demonstration, is a positive step, and supports the concept of seeking additional cooperative opportunities.

To summarize, the subcommittee finds the restructured HOPE-X program to be a 'front running' example of modern program design. It will present a positive challenge to NASDA's management and technological capabilities and will enable NASDA to retain its position as one of the world's leading developers of advanced space technologies and capabilities.

With this overall strongly positive evaluation as background, the subcommittee urges NASDA to pay particular attention to the following observations and recommendations.

  1. Managing the complex HOPE-X program, with the involvement of NASDA, NAL, smaller venture firms, traditional aerospace companies, and universities will be quite challenging. Within the management team, there must be clear lines of procurement authority, communication, and control. It is essential that NASDA create and maintain in existence for the duration of the program a high-quality management team with adequate personnel, authority, financial resources, and access to information needed to maintain the technical quality, cost targets, and schedule for the program.
  2. In order for NASDA to be successful in managing the restructured HOPE-X program, it must be open to collaboration with other organizations that possess the necessary capabilities not found within NASDA in areas such as software development, verification and validation, information technology, and similar areas not traditionally strong points for NASDA. In particular, NASDA should collaborate with other organizations to assure independent verification and validation of the extensive software required to carry out such functions as on-board real-time mission planning and similar control functions.
  3. There needs to be a comprehensive assessment of the planned flight test program in terms of its adequacy in demonstrating the technologies needed for an eventual decision to proceed with RLV development. It is important that there be sufficient flights to provide adequate opportunities for valid tests under varying conditions of the technologies being demonstrated. The subcommittee had some concern about whether the results of the high speed flight demonstration tests using a quarter scale model of HOPE-X could be scaled to the full-sized vehicle, and noted that a primary purpose of these tests should be to confirm computer models of HOPE-X flight conditions.



The subcommittee recognized the unfortunate necessity of modifying NASDA's space development plan in the aftermath of the H-II flight 8 accident, and supports with NASDA's decision to focus top-priority attention and the necessary human and financial resources on assuring the success of H-IIA development.


The subcommittee is impressed by NASDA's thoroughness in organizing and carrying out the H-II F8 failure investigation, and in using the results to improve future development. The retrieval of flight hardware is an interesting concept, if it can be carried out on a cost-effective basis.


The subcommittee generally agrees that NASDA is taking appropriate additional measures to assure the success of H-IIA development by organizing comprehensive assessments and continuing reviews of the program, by strengthening the relationship between NASDA and the industrial contractors for the H-IIA, and by procuring two additional LE-7A engines for qualification testing. It supports NASDA's decision to increase the number of engine tests and to expand the range to test conditions beyond those required for basic qualification. However, the number of tests planned, though greater than before, is still somewhat less than those historically used for qualifying other advanced rocket engines. Also, there is a need to ensure that the test program includes tests under extreme conditions that will identify the margins of engine performance and will provide the basis for establishing a statistical estimate of expected engine reliability.


Given the decision to modify Japan's space development program to focus on H-IIA development, it is appropriate to postpone moving the small rocket program into the development phase, but to continue the program in the research phase. Before a decision is made to move the program to the development phase, the subcommittee repeats its 1999 recommendation that there be carried out a comprehensive and formal project risk analysis that defines key milestones with respect to schedule, budget, and availability of imported technologies and components.


This is the last year of activity for the current space transportation evaluation committee. The members of the committee wish to thank those in NASDA and other organizations who have provided such effective support to the subcommittee's activities.

The subcommittee members hope that their evaluations and recommendations have contributed, and will continue to contribute, to NASDA's space development efforts.

Member List of Subcommittee for Space Transportation

Co-chairman Mr. Hideo Nagasu
Former Director-General of National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL)Dr. John M. Logsdon
Director, Space Policy Institute and Center for International Science and
Technology, George Washington University
Member Mr. Eiichi Itoh
Director, Satellite Business Planning Division, KDD Governor, INTELSAT Dr. Hiroshi Endoh
Former Deputy Director General, National Aerospace Laboratory Dr. Nobuhiro Tanatsugu
Professor, Research Division for Space Propulsion Institute of Space and Astronautical Science Dr. Susumu Toda
Director-General, National Aerospace Laboratory Dr. Shinichi Nakasuka
Associate Professor, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Tokyo Dr. Kumiko Miyazaki
Associate Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Tokyo Institute of Technology Mr. William R. Claybaugh, II
Private Aerospace Investor Mr. Jean-Jeaques Dordain
Director, Strategy and Technical Assessment, European Space Agency (ESA) Dr. Dietrich E. Koelle
Executive Director, TCS - Trans Cost Systems Mr. Chester L. Whitehair
Former Vice President, Aerospace Corporation
Executive Secretary Mr. Junji Shinjo
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics University of Tokyo

Members' Biography

Mr. Hideo Nagasu

Former Director-General of National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL)
PROFESSIONAL FIELD: Aerodynamics, Space Engineering
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Director of Aerodynamics Division, NAL (1970), Director of Space Research Group, NAL (1976), Deputy Director General, NAL (1983), Director General, NAL (1985), Member of Science Council of Japan (1991-93), Senior Advisor of Fuji Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. (1989-94)

Dr. John M. Logsdon

Director, Space Policy Institute and Center for International Science and Technology, George Washington University
PROFESSIONAL FIELD: U.S. and International Space Policy, History of U.S. Space Programs
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: George Washington University (1970-), Faculty member and board of trustees of International Space University (1988-), Fellow of AIAA, Member of International Academy of Astronautics, Member of Vice President's Space Policy Advisory Board (1992), Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (1988-94), Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (1998-)

Mr. Eiichi Itoh

Director of Satellite Business Planning Division, KDD, Governor of INTELSAT
Chairman of Asian Satellite Multimedia Forum
PROFESSIONAL FIELD: Management, Accounting, Industrial Sociology
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Managing Director, KDD Research Institute, Inc. (1992), Director of Network Planning Division, KDD (1995), Governor of INTELSAT (1995-), Director of Satellite Business Planning Division (1998-)

Dr. Hiroshi Endoh

Former Deputy Director General, National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL)
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Central Meteorological Observatory (1954), Aeronautical Laboratory (1951), Research Fellow, University of London (1966-67), Deputy Director General, NAL (1989), Safety Consultant, Japan Airsystem Co. Ltd. (1995-98)

Dr. Nobuhiro Tanatsugu

Professor, Research Division for Space Propulsion
Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS)
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: University of Tokyo Institute of Aeronautics and Space (1973), Associate Professor, ISAS (1981), Visiting Researcher, DFVLR (1984-85), Professor, ISAS (1989), Professor, Tokyo University (1992)

Dr. Susumu Toda

Deputy Director-General, National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL)
PROFESSIONAL FIELD: Structural mechanics, Space engineering
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Senior Engineer, NASDA Office of Satellite Development (1985), Director, NAL Structural Mechanics Division (1995), Director, NAL Space Research Group (1996), Deputy Director General (1998-), Member, NRC Space Debris Committee (1993)

Dr. Shinichi Nakasuka

Associate Professor, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics,
University of Tokyo
PROFESSIONAL FIELD: Aerospace Engineering, Information Engineering
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: IBM Japan (1988), Lecturer, Department of Aeronautics, University of Tokyo (1990), Associate Professor (1993), Associate Professor, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (1994), Associate Professor, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (1998-)

Dr. Kumiko Miyazaki

Associate Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management,
Tokyo Institute of Technology
PROFESSIONAL FIELD: Science and Technology Policy, Computer Science, Physics
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Oxford University, Cambridge University, MBA, INSEAD, Ph.D. in Science and Technology Policy, Sussex University SPRU,
Professional staff at: Logica, Bell Northern Research, Schlumberger
Associate Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Tokyo Institute of Technology (1995-), Member of Space Activities Commission Committee on Planning (1997 - ), Member of Telecommunications Technology Council (1999 - ), Member of Aircraft Industry Council (1999 - )

Mr. William R. Claybaugh, II

Private Aerospace Investor
PROFESSIONAL FIELD: (Aerospace) Business
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: President, IComp, Inc. (1989-1991), Chief Financial Officer, American Rocket Company (1987), Vice President of Space Division, University City Science Center (1986), Director for External Initiatives, NASA Office of Exploration, Business Advisor, NASA Reusable Launch Vehicle Program (1991-1999)

Mr. Jean-Jeaques Dordain

Director, Strategy and Technical Assessment, European Space Agency (ESA)
PROFESSIONAL FIELD: Fluid mechanics, Heterogeneous flows, Combustion, Instabilities
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Professor of Fluid Mechanics at Ecole Polytechnique, Ecole Superieure Aeronautique de Espace (1972-94), Technical advisor to CEO of Arianespace (1985-87), National Agency for Aerospace Research (ONERA) (1970-86), Head of Space Station Utilization and Microgravity Program Department, ESA (1987-92), Member of Committee for Applications, Academy of Science

Dr. Dietrich E. Koelle

Executive Director, TCS- Trans Cost Systems
PROFESSIONAL FIELD: Mechanical Engineering, Systems Analysis, Cost Engineering
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Director of Advanced Space Transportation Systems, MBB/DASA Ottobrunn ( 1970-1993), Executive Director, TransCostSystems (1993 - present). Member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), Honorary Member of the German Aerospace Society, Chairman of the IAF/IAA Subcommittee on Launch Systems Economics

Mr. Chester L. Whitehair

Former Vice President, The Aerospace Corporation
PROFESSIONAL FIELD: Aerospace Engineering
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Douglas Aircraft Co. (1959), Super Temp Corp. (1962), The Aerospace Corporation (1963-1998) including Director of Upper Stage Office - Space Transportation Directorate, Principal Director of Inertial Upper Stage, Principal Director of Advanced Launch Systems Directorate - Space Launch Vehicle Operations, General Manager, Architecture, Planning and Technology Division, Vice President of Space Launch Operations

Mr. Junji Shinjo

Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Tokyo

Meeting Agenda

Third Subcommittee for Space Transportation

Thursday, March 18

9:00 - 9:05 Opening Remarks
9:05 - 9:20 Co-chairmen, Members greetings
9:20 - 9:30 Information from Secretariat
9:30 - 12:30 Report Items, Q&A
    1.Modification of NASDA's Space Programs Due to the Launch Failure of H-II
    2.Investigation Results of H-II No.8 Failure
    3.Status of the H-IIA Project
12:30 - 13:30 lunch
13:30 - 13:50 Report Items, Q&A (continued)
    4.Status of Studies on Small Launch Vehicle System (J-II)
13:50 - 16:00 Evaluation Topic, Q&A
    1.Restructuring of the HOPE-X Program
16:00 - 17:30 Discussion
18:00 - 20:00 Reception hosted by NASDA

Friday, March 19

9:30 - 12:30 Draft report
12:30 - 13:30 lunch
13:30 - 14:45 Finalize report
14:45 - 15:15 Notification of report to NASDA
- adjourn meeting -

The 3rd Evaluation Report
the Subcommittee for Earth Observation

May, 2000
Subcommittee for Earth Observation

Subcommittee for Earth Observation
Co-chair man

Executive Summary

The Earth Observation Subcommittee met at the NASDA Earth Observation Research Center in Tokyo, March 21-23, 2000, with the purpose of evaluating the research and development themes in the field of Earth Observation in order to provide advice concerning the projects to be pursued by NASDA during year 2001. The Subcommittee was asked to consider the Global Change Observation Mission (GCOM) program and specifically the initiation of the GCOM-A1 satellite project, as well as the study of a dual-frequency precipitation radar for the international Global Precipitation Mission.

The Subcommittee endorsed the overall objectives of GCOM and saw the initiative as a major contribution to the worldwide effort to observe, understand and predict global environmental changes. GCOM should be viewed as a 15-year framework for technical and institutional commitments to continuity and effective scientific use of the observations and the Subcommittee recommended that action be taken now to initiate new organizational procedures to involve the broader scientific community in its implementation. The Subcommittee also considered it important to strengthen the working relationships between NASDA, an R&D agency, and the relevant operational user and policy agencies in the government. In the international context, NASDA needs to develop a clear vision of the intended role of the GCOM program in relation to other space-based observing programs and the international Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS). NASDA should clearly identify the areas in which it wishes to take initiative and lead the international community, and those for which the goal is to complement or reinforce the activities of other agencies.

The Subcommittee noted that the GCOM-A1 mission will provide timely and potentially very important observations, particularly concerning the ozone depletion issue, and emphasized the importance of aerosol data for ozone depletion and climate change studies. The GCOM-A1 will contribute to understanding important processes relevant to the Kyoto and Montreal Protocols. With respect to greenhouse gases, a clear and detailed end-to-end scientific strategy for utilization of the greenhouse gas (GHG) data should be developed. The Subcommittee is of the view that the information gained from SOFIS can be used effectively for the studies of atmospheric dynamics-chemistry system and suggested that consideration be given to the balance of possible measurement approaches and possible synergies with other missions. The Subcommittee recommended that steps be taken by NASDA and EA to facilitate a posteriori integration of data from the two processing streams to maximize the outcome of the program.

The Subcommittee expressed its recognition of the success of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and its strong support for the newly proposed study of a Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR). With the TRMM program, NASDA has shown true scientific leadership in a crucial domain of climate and global change research.

The EO Subcommittee expressed its general satisfaction for the manner in which NASDA addressed the recommendations made at its first meeting in July 1998, and its commitment to continue reviewing further progress.

1. Introduction

The Earth Observation Subcommittee met at the NASDA Earth Observation Research Center in Tokyo, March 21-23, 2000. The Subcommittee heard presentations from NASDA personnel, with complementary explanations from the National Institute for Environmental Studies of the Environment Agency and from the Communications Research Laboratory of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. The Subcommittee wishes to thank NASDA for its excellent staff work and logistical support throughout the meeting. Several members of the Subcommittee visited the Tsukuba Space Center on 24 March, 2000.

The purpose of the Subcommittee meeting was the evaluation of the research and development themes in the field of Earth Observation in order to provide advice concerning the projects to be pursued by NASDA during year 2001. The agenda for the meeting and the list of participants are attached.

The Subcommittee was asked to consider the Global Change Observation Mission (GCOM) program and specifically the initiation of the GCOM-A1 satellite project, as well as the study of a dual-frequency precipitation radar for the international Global Precipitation Mission, as a TRMM follow-on mission to observe the rainfall structure in tropical through to boreal regions. The overall goal of GCOM is the observation of geophysical parameters to understand global warming, climate change and depletion of the ozone layer; the specific objective of the first flight mission GCOM-A1 will be the observation of the ozone layer and greenhouse gases. The purpose of the evaluations was to provide scientific inputs in support of the decision to proceed with the development of GCOM-A1 and the dual-frequency radar in FY 2001.

Although the Subcommittee was requested to prepare its evaluation in terms of the following considerations:

  1. definition of requirements;
  2. purpose of project;
  3. project planning policy;
  4. procurement policy;
  5. technology development and application;
  6. product assurance and quality assurance;
  7. life cycle costs and schedule; and
  8. lessons learned and risk assessment;

the time available, the expertise of the Subcommittee members and the material presented, have resulted in emphasizing the review of items 1,2,3, 5 and 8. The Subcommittee believed that it was timely that NASDA, with the advice of the co-chairs, established an ad-hoc working group for the evaluation of GCOM-A1 hardware, focusing on items 4, 6 and 7.

2. Global Change Observation Mission (GCOM) Program

The Subcommittee recognized the strategic significance of the decision to launch the Global Change Observation Mission (GCOM), a comprehensive program to acquire systematic observations of changes in the global Earth system for a nominal period of 15 years. The Subcommittee endorsed the overall objectives of GCOM and saw the initiative as a major contribution to the worldwide effort to observe, understand and predict global environmental changes.

The Global Change Observation Mission is a logical next step in expressing an enduring Japanese commitment to Global Change Studies from space. The Mission should be viewed not only as a coherent series of spacecraft projects, but also as a framework for technical and institutional commitments to continuity and effective scientific use of the observations. These commitments need to go beyond the necessary requirements for calibration, validation, and data management, and extend to creating the new institutional relationships needed for the development of science, practical applications, and support to policy decisions.

Given that GCOM is intended to last 15 years, the needed institutional relationships must be constructed with a long-term view. The Subcommittee recommended that action be taken now when many changes occurring in the Japanese government may provide the flexibility to initiate new organizational procedures. Of particular importance in this respect will be the forthcoming merger of the Science and Technology Agency and the Ministry of Education.

Participation of academic scientists in instrument science teams
A particular issue identified by the Subcommittee was the limited ability of scientists, outside a core of experts from (mainly) government laboratories and NASDA itself, to actively participate in the conception and development of major instrument facilities on NASDA satellites. It was emphasized that it would be to NASDA's advantage to broaden the pool of scientific partners engaged in these projects by facilitating the development of expertise in Earth remote sensing at universities and elsewhere. Funded efforts of this nature would create scientific groups that can work effectively on space technology and management problems familiar to NASDA. Scientists who become participants in sensor development teams could be active from end to end in the implementation of NASDA projects.

Inter-agency partnerships
The Subcommittee considered it important to strengthen the working relationships between NASDA, an R&D agency, and the relevant operational user and policy agencies in the government. The issues of global change being highly interdisciplinary, it is essential to promote working relations amongst the agencies that sponsor the various disciplinary parts of the science enterprise, as well as to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration among scientists. A challenge for NASDA is maintaining a proper balance between three equally important aspects of its mission: a) contribution to science, b) promotion of the practical applications of Earth observation, and c) advancement of technology.

Linkages need to be strengthened between NASDA and other agencies, notably arrangements for shared data processing and unified data standards, in order to facilitate the optimal utilization of the information (e. g. facilitate the merging of SOFIS and ODUS data to infer higher-order products such as estimates of tropospheric ozone). Collaboration is essential in this domain, with such as the Japan Meteorological Agency and the Environmental Agency.

Role of GCOM in the international context
GCOM is part of a worldwide effort to advance the understanding of climate and the global environment through global observation of the Earth system. NASDA needs to develop a clear vision of the intended role of the GCOM program in relation to space-based observing programs planned by other space agencies around the world, and identify GCOM's unique contributions to the international Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS). At this time, the Subcommittee perception was that there is need for analysis of the relationships between the comprehensive goals of GCOM and the specific measurements that will actually be implemented. The scientific rationale for each sensor should be formulated in relation to general scientific priorities and international cooperation opportunities or commitments.

It is important that NASDA clearly identify the areas in which it wishes to take initiative and lead the international community, and those for which the goal is to complement or reinforce the activities of other agencies. The pioneering efforts of NASDA and CRL in implementing the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) are examples of the first type. The decision to undertake the development of a precipitation radar led to a major advance in climate observation from space. This universally recognized achievement also led NASDA to further developments and a long-term leadership role in monitoring the global water cycle.

Depending upon each particular measurement in the GCOM program, the specific goal pursued may be:

  • Leadership - progressing beyond the current state of the art, and seeking opportunities for breakthrough in developing of new or enhanced observing capabilities or products that could establish new world standards (expanding the scope of the international Earth Observing System).
  • Complementary contribution - compatibility of GCOM data products with existing or planned programs of other space agencies, with a view to optimizing opportunities for mutual backup arrangements and contingency mitigation (increasing the robustness of the international EOS).
  • Cooperation - identifying opportunities for joint endeavors with other agencies or investigator groups, and formulating guidelines for the role of GCOM scientific investigator teams and NASDA program managers in organizing such inter-agency/international cooperative activities.

The Subcommittee devoted considerable attention to this matter and provided the following examples, taken from a review of the GCOM development plan:

  • The Second-generation Global Imager (SGLI) system will include a unique ocean imaging instrument with a complete set of ocean color channels and tilt-beam capability (to minimize sun-glint problems), and will fly on a morning orbit (future US NPOESS operational satellites will be deployed on less than optimal dusk-dawn and early afternoon orbits). With this development, NASDA has the opportunity to lead the field of ocean color monitoring and systematic observation of marine primary productivity.
  • The SGLI land and atmospheric imaging capability will match the quality of contemporaneous observing systems on NASA's EOS-Terra and Aqua, and the EOS-NPOESS bridging mission. In this instance, enhancing the geographic coverage and long-term continuity of moderate-resolution land cover observation (by providing compatible data streams) should be the prime objective.
  • In cooperation with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of the United States, the ADEOS - GCOM-B series of satellites offers an unmatched capability for high-precision measurement of ocean surface winds using active microwave sensors (such as NSCAT, SeaWinds, and the future AlphaScat wind-finding scatterometer). In this domain, cooperation with NASA is the obvious path.

The development of the NASDA long term vision will require careful consideration.
Traditionally, space agencies have endeavored to independently develop the full range of Earth observing capabilities. Evolution is recommended toward inter-agency alliances, whereby one agency will take responsibility for a particular set of observations to serve its needs and those of the other agencies. This implies taking an active role in forging effective working relations not only with other agencies, but also with the worldwide community of scientific users in the selected domain of observational activities (for the purpose of identifying common observational goals, defining observing strategies, discussing results, etc.) In formulating such goals, it is important to clarify from the start the purpose of the measurement (e.g. one-time "process study" or indefinite monitoring for long-term climate variability studies) and also to consider possible synergies with other instruments on-board or with other measurements.

The Subcommittee noted that it was important that the international system support continuity of data products. NASDA and other space agencies should cooperate to maximize the quality of data sets by exchanging and merging observed data and NASDA could take responsibility for a certain area and seek partners to support the effort to establish international data sets which are generated not only by NASDA's instruments but also by those of other space agencies.

GCOM satellite configuration
The Subcommittee noted that the first two flight missions in the GCOM program used two rather different spacecraft: a one-ton class satellite (GCOM-A1) launched by a J-2 rocket, and a 2-ton class satellite (GCOM-B1) launched by a larger H-IIA launch vehicle. The Subcommittee wondered whether it might be appropriate to seek a higher degree of commonality between the first GCOM missions, possibly by accommodating the payload on three similar one-ton class spacecraft. This could result in lesser system complexity, and faster development, as well as added flexibility for the progressive infusion of new technologies. On the other hand, synergy between different instruments in the GCOM-B series may be lost.

The Subcommittee judged that synergy between the two microwave instruments (AMSR and ocean wind scatterometer) was a significant advantage of flying the two sensors on the same platform. On the other hand, the value of the synergy between those and other measurements need to be examined.

Resources allocation (human and budget)
In response to a question from the Subcommittee, it was explained that the development schedule of GCOM-A1 and GCOM-B1 (separated by about six months) did not create an undue accumulation of efforts in the broader context of the overall NASDA program. The Subcommittee suggests that NASDA study the optimum schedule for GCOM-A1 and GCOM-B1 from the point of view of financial and human resources.

Optimization of GCOM Ground System Operation
The Subcommittee recommended NASDA further study the optimization of ground system operations for two GCOM satellites on two different orbits.

3. GCOM-A1

The Subcommittee was informed of the overall goals of the GCOM-A program, and generally recognized the scientific value and societal significance of this endeavor, as defined below:

    "contributing to the elucidation of the transport mechanisms of greenhouse gases, the transport processes of ozone, the mechanisms of ozone layer depletion, research and prediction of global warming and ozone layer variations, by observing the greenhouse gases of CO2, CH4, etc. and monitoring the ozone layer."

The Subcommittee noted that the GCOM-A1 mission will provide timely and potentially very important observations, particularly concerning the ozone depletion issue. The problem of stratospheric ozone depletion and recovery calls for further observation and research and the Subcommittee noted that the addition of a Director and a GCOM Program scientist to the EORC staff provides a core capability for strengthening research on ozone. The Subcommittee noted that as there was a gap in observing total ozone (although other space-based ozone measuring systems will be launched in the near future, including an additional TOMS mission, and ozone sensors on Europe's ENVISAT and EOS-Aura in the USA), GCOM-A1 could fill the gap in the period before 2010. The Subcommittee emphasized the importance of aerosol measurements for ozone depletion and climate change studies, particularly information on aerosols from biomass burning that can be distinguished by their locality. A spectrometer such as ODUS can do much better in this regard than multi-spectral radiometers with two or three significant channels. Although the GCOM-A1 is clearly not designed to provide measurements to solve all the issues mentioned above, it will contribute to important processes relevant to the Kyoto and Montreal Protocols.

SOFIS will measure a range of chemical species, principally long-lived greenhouse gases. The Subcommittee is of the view that the information gained from SOFIS can be used effectively for the studies of coupled atmospheric dynamics and chemistry. As the successor of ILAS and ILAS-II, the SOFIS potentially has the capability to measure a broad range of chemical species that contribute to stratospheric ozone depletion. The sensitivity and wide spectral range of the SOFIS instrument (Fourier-transform spectrometer) could, in principle, enable the detection of a wide range of active chemical species that affect ozone chemistry in the region above 5km which will be observed. The present SOFIS design tradeoff emphasizes vertical resolution at the expense of a higher spectral resolution that would allow detecting a number of key molecules or radicals. It is recognized that high-vertical resolution is essential to conduct dynamic-chemical study of the stratosphere and/or exchange processes with the troposphere. The Subcommittee suggested that the designers of the instrument (EA science team) considers the balance of possible measurement approaches and also take into consideration possible synergies with atmospheric chemistry measurements planned on the International Space Station and other missions.

The Subcommittee is of the view that the information to be acquired about the distribution of greenhouse gases in the stratosphere and the upper troposphere will not shed light on the principal scientific question, which is quantifying sources and sinks at the Earth surface. For the latter purpose, a nadir-looking instrument reaching down into the lower troposphere would be required.

The combination of ODUS and SOFIS measurements and synergism between the two instruments could create exciting results. However, based on the information received by the Subcommittee, little is being done to facilitate the merging of the two data streams which will be produced separately by NASDA (ODUS) and EA (SOFIS). Accessibility of data is an important issue. The Subcommittee recommended that steps be taken by NASDA and EA to facilitate a posteriori integration of data from the two processing streams to maximize the outcome of the program.

The Subcommittee observed that the GCOM-A1 mission, as currently planned, will not fulfill all aspects of the broad objective laid out above for the overall GCOM program, but has the potential to considerably strengthen the existing understanding and knowledge of stratospheric chemistry, especially the processes that affect ozone depletion and recovery. In this respect, the Subcommittee recommended that:

(a) explicit provisions be made to facilitate merging the ODUS and SOFIS data streams (and indeed, any other relevant data streams from national or foreign sources) in order to achieve the full scientific return from these two core instruments; and
(b) consideration be given in the SOFIS design to the possibility of measurement of a wider range of chemical species, with the goal of characterizing the chemical species that affect the depletion and recovery of stratospheric ozone.

Implementation schedule
The Subcommittee recognized the value of an extended and comprehensive conceptual design phase for collecting scientific inputs to the definition of mission parameters, and recognized as well the importance of a substantial instrument calibration/system testing phase to guarantee the scientific integrity of the mission. The Subcommittee was also aware of the scientific need for an early launch date in order to ensure measurement continuity after ADEOS-II. Nevertheless, the Subcommittee's view was that the overriding objective of NASDA should be mission reliability and that pressure to meet the currently planned schedule should not cause a departure from established engineering practice (e.g. development and testing of appropriate engineering models) that could negatively impact in-flight success. The Subcommittee noted that GCOM-A1 will be the first Earth Observation spacecraft designed by NASDA for deployment on a non-sunsynchronous inclined orbit, raising concern about thermal design in particular.

4. Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR)

The Subcommittee expressed its recognition of the success of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), which demonstrated the very successful combination of a three-dimensional rainfall radar sensor and passive microwave imager to estimate precipitation within +/- 35°from the equator. Based on these results, the Subcommittee manifested strong support for the newly proposed study of a Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) based on the same principle. The DPR is intended to fly on the core spacecraft of a satellite constellation which will extend rainfall observation up to 70 degree in latitude, and will contribute to the understanding of global precipitation processes, including solid precipitation. With the TRMM program, NASDA has shown true scientific leadership in a crucial domain of climate and global change research.

Furthermore, the quality of TRMM precipitation radar (PR) measurements has led a major improvement in the estimation of rainfall from passive radiometry data provided by the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI). These advances clear the path toward a future operational global rainfall measuring based on, principally, passive microwave remote sensing. The next step is the proposed NASA/NASDA Global Precipitation Mission (GPM), which will rely on the dual-frequency precipitation radar for calibration of the microwave imager retrieval algorithms. Given the importance of rainfall data for weather forecasting, hydrologic prediction, and climate science applications, it is expected that the technical success of GPM would immediately lead to calls for an operational measurement program. For this reason, GPM needs to be treated as a "operational precursor" mission.

Central to further advances in rainfall remote sensing is the ability to probe the 3-dimensional structure of weather systems at a minimum of two microwave frequencies (in order to lift the ambiguity between the number density and size of rain drops or ice particles, and also to extend the range of measurement to solid precipitation). The dual frequency approach critically strengthen the capability of this space-based sensor to serve as a calibration tool for the GPM constellation and even possibly ground-based meteorological radars. Given the central function of this core instrument, the Subcommittee was convinced the DPR development should proceed forthwith.

The Subcommittee also discussed the validity of the current design which provides dual-frequency coverage over only a fraction (40km) of the lower-frequency swath (220km). This relatively narrow sub-satellite coverage will provide essentially a linear cross-section of precipitating cloud systems, which is deemed sufficient to compile an adequate calibration data base for comparison with other (wider swath) sensors. On the other hand, the relatively wide single-frequency swath will continue to provide invaluable data for scientific studies of the structure of mesoscale weather systems, and their relation to changes in the atmospheric general circulation.

5. Review of the NASDA Action Plan

The EO Subcommittee expressed its general satisfaction for the manner in which NASDA addressed the recommendations made at its first meeting in July 1998, and its commitment to continue reviewing further progress made by the Agency with regard to the action plan.

NASDA presented an analysis of the Agency's responses to the 10 recommendations made at the first meeting of the Subcommittee, organized under four general topics.

(1) General Issues
(1-1) Secure Resources and Improve Resource Balances; and
(1-2) Cooperate with Other Agencies in Observation

The Subcommittee expressed satisfaction with the actions taken by NASDA to increase the resources assigned to ground systems and the follow-up research from about 10% to 20% of total project funding for the GCOM project. There have also been significant increases in the resources allocated to EORC. These were seen as very significant. Nevertheless, the Subcommittee believed that now was the time to further broaden NASDA's support to research activities conducted by other agencies and universities, as an investment toward increasing the scientific knowledge basis for future Earth system science initiative by the Agency.

This key aspect is also addressed by the recommendation on "Interagency and international cooperation". With the inception of the planning phase for GCOM-A1 and the TRMM follow-on project, such cooperation is happening with the Environmental Agency for SOFIS and with the Communications Research Laboratory for DPR. Further plans for cooperation with other agencies, such as the Japan Meteorological Agency, universities, and the international Earth science community were less clear. The involvement of Japanese academic scientists with technical expertise in the development of airborne and satellite sensors would yield significant benefits and bring new ideas, students and resources to NASDA's projects. The Subcommittee also recognizes that the involvement of experts from outside the Agency implies a definite commitment of these external experts to relevant NASDA project, as well as willingness to communicate with the broader peer community and serve as ambassadors for NASDA.

Concerning the participation of NASDA experts in the Strategic Implementation Team (SIT) of the Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS), the Subcommittee would like to get a clearer understanding of progress realized and a vision of where this activity is heading. The Subcommittee was also concerned that the cooperation with international partners in the GCOM-B and TRMM follow-on projects may require further clarification, such as, the GPM core satellite and the Alpha-SCAT instrument.

With the delay in the launch of ADEOS-II, the resources assigned to that project appeared appropriate to maintain the team and support preparations for the launch. The Subcommittee noted that future plans for ADEOS-II, research, promotion of ALOS data utilization and initiation of the GCOM program were included in the JFY 2001 funding request of the Agency. The Subcommittee was concerned that no mention was made of funding for the Dual-frequency Radar (DPR) project, which was also considered to be very important.

(2) Contribution to Earth Science
(2-1) EORC strengthening
(2-2) Promote participation of scientists
(2-3) Continue ADEOS analysis research

The Subcommittee was pleased with the assignment of additional staff to EORC, the Agency's support of the Frontier Research System for Global Change, and support to Principal Investigators participating in the ADEOS-II project. These steps will greatly increase the EORC capacity for fulfilling essential scientific tasks; further plans should be developed for the longer term future. With respect to the involvement of the user community, the Subcommittee endorsed the principle of planning workshops and suggested it would be equally important to involve these scientific users in the promotion of the project.

Following on the comments made above, the Subcommittee noted that involvement of scientists from outside of NASDA needs to go beyond participation in workshops or committees and progress toward a "hand-on" participation. The Subcommittee was of the opinion that there a major opportunity exists in the next few years, with the restructuring of the Japanese ministries (specifically STA and MoE), for building up a substantial institutional capacity outside NASDA to support Earth observation research and development.

The Subcommittee also reiterated its recommendation concerning the analysis of ADEOS data.

(3) Promotion of Practical Uses of Earth Observation Data
(3-1) EOC strengthening
(3-2) Promoting ALOS data utilization
(3-3) Data utilization promotion center

The Subcommittee was pleased with the improvements made to the EOC. With respect to ALOS, it is important to initiate now the planning for an ALOS follow-on mission, since observation continuity is essential to enable longer-term data utilization projects. Concerning data interpretation activities, it was not clear whether steps had been taken or plans existed for the participation of non-Japanese scientists, recalling the Subcommittee's recommendation that Japan take a leadership role for the application of high-resolution Earth remote sensing in the Asia-Pacific region.

(4) Technology Developments for Satellites, Sensors and Ground Systems
(4-1) Study of medium and small satellite systems
(4-2) Reinforce quality control in ADEOS-II

The Subcommittee noted that a step had been taken toward the realization of smaller satellites (from the 3-ton ADEOS spacecraft to a 2-ton GCOM-B) but also felt that further studies should be conducted of the advantages and limitations of even smaller satellite missions, essentially single instrument missions. With respect to future plans, the Subcommittee was uncertain about the proposal to study the realization, in cooperation with the European Space Agency, of a cloud-radiation research mission that appeared similar to the planned CloudSat-PICASSO/CENA missions under preparation by NASA, the Canadian Space Agency and the French space agency CNES. The Subcommittee was concerned that NASDA take appropriate steps to ensure that this initiative actually yield significant new scientific results beyond those anticipated with the above pioneer missions.

E1. Members of The Subcommittee for Earth Observation

  • Tomio Asai
    Research Supervisor, Mechanism of Global Change Research Office, Japan Science and Technology Corporation
  • Gordon A. McBean
    Assistant Deputy Minister, Atmospheric Environment Service, Environment Canada

    Charles F. Kennel
    Director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego

    Syukuro Manabe
    Program Director, Frontier Research System for Global Change

    Pierre Morel
    Scientific Advisor, Office of Earth Science, NASA

    Mikio Takagi
    Prof., The Faculty of Science & Technology, Science Univ. of Tokyo

    Atsushi Takeda
    Prof., Department of Environment Planning Technology, Tohoku Bunka Gakuen Univ.

    Suvit Vibulsresth
    Deputy Permanent Secretary,Ministry of Science Technology & Environment, Thailand

    <Executive Secretary>
    Yoshiaki Honda
    Associate Professor, Center for Environmental Remote Sensing of Chiba University

    Hirotoshi Kubota
    Professor, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Graduate School of Engineering,
    University of Tokyo
    (Executive Secretary of the Committee for NASDA Evaluation

  • ?Co-chairperson

E2. Schedule of Evaluation Meeting

  1. Date Tuesday, March 21 - Thursday, March 23, 2000
  2. Venue NASDA Earth Observation Research Center (EORC)
  3. Agenda

Tuesday, March 21

  • Opening
  • Introduction of Attendees
  • Confirmation of Distributed Documents, Meeting Logistics, etc.
  • 10:00-12:00
  • Adoption of the Agenda
  • NASDA's Presentation
  • (1) The Summary of Modification of NASDA's Space Programs due to the Launch Failure of H-II Rocket
    (2) Activities of Office of Earth Observation Systems
    (3) Status of Action Plan Activities
  • NASDA's Presentation, Questions and Answers
  • (1)Study on Global Change Observation Mission (GCOM)
    12:00-13:30 Lunch
    (2)Study on GCOM-A1
    1. GCOM-A1 Science Requirement
    2. GCOM-A1 Satellite System
    3. GOOM-A1 Ground System
    4. GCOM A1 Data Analysis
    * Evaluation Report of GCOM-A1 Satellite by Ad-hoc Group
    15:45-16:00 Coffee Break
    (3)Research & Analysis with PR on-board TRMM
    (4)Study on Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR)
    18:00-20:00 (ANA Hotel)
  • Dinner Reception Hosted by NASDA President
  • Wednesday , March 22
  • NASDA's Answer and Explanations to Issues and Questions Raised from Discussions on the First Day
  • 10:30-12:00
  • Discussion on Each Evaluation Item
    1. GCOM
    2. GCOM-A1
    3. PR
    4. DPR
    5. Review of Action Plan Activities
  • 12:00-13:30 Lunch
  • Discussion on Each Evaluation Item (continued)
  • 15:00-15:30 Coffee Break
  • Discussion on Each Evaluation Item (continued)
  • 17:30-19:30 Dinner
    Thursday , March 23
  • NASDA's Answer and Explanations to Issues and Questions Raised from Previous Discussions
  • 10:00-12:00
  • Drafting the Subcommittee Evaluation Report
  • 12:00-13:30 Lunch
  • Preparation for the Draft Report
  • 15:00-15:30 Coffee Break
  • Adoption of the Draft Report
  • Arrangement for Completing the Subcommittee Evaluation Report
  • 16:30-17:00
  • Notification to NASDA
  • Closing