Fundamental Technology Research Challenge to Novel Technology

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Innovative Technology Research Center

The continuous advance of our country’s space development in the years ahead will require advanced research and development in leading-edge technologies with an eye toward the future.
The Innovative Technology Research Center works toward this end by conducting advanced mission research to create next-generation and future projects in addition to advanced research and development of innovative technologies to meet the requirements of future missions, and by providing support in solving technical issues in ongoing projects.

Research objectives

1. Research on advanced mission

Research on countermeasures against space debris

The center advances research on debris observation, debris distribution prediction, and damage from debris collision in order to evaluate the risk of satellite collisions with debris. For drastic mitigation of space debris, the center is conducting research on technologies for a debris-remover system that will capture and de-orbit space debris. Some research focuses on component technologies for the system, such as an electrodynamic tether for a highly efficient propulsion unit (Fig. 1, 2).

2. Research on technologies for innovative base systems and flight vehicles

Research on manned space activity technologies

Fig. 3 Air re-vitalization equipment, which can recycle oxygen from carbon dioxide

The Innovative Technology Research Center furthers research with an emphasis on air and water reproduction technologies by applying environmental technologies and nanotechnologies, our country’s forte. The center’s achievements in this field will support future manned space activities (Fig. 3).

Research on aeroassist guidance technologies

Fig. 4 Development of Mars Aeroflyby Sample Collection (MASC) technologies

The center furthers research to propose pioneering flight systems using innovative aerodynamic guidance technologies, such as space planes, aerocapture orbiters and guided planetary probes, by developing design tools for atmospheric entry systems and hypersonic flight systems (Fig. 4).

Research on frontier technologies

Fig. 5 Right:100W-class regenerative fuel cell
Left:Small field emission cathode using carbon nanotubes

The center advances research on innovative technologies, such as nanotechnologies for space applications as well as future energy technologies, including regenerative fuel cells, in order to achieve new aerospace technology (Fig. 5).

About Research Group

Robotics Research Group

The Innovative Technology Research Center promotes advanced research with an eye to continuously carry forward our country’s space development into the future.The Robotics Research Group advances research on space robotics, a technology to enable challenging, high-level space missions with enhanced safety and economy.The space activities of humankind in orbit, on the moon, and on other planets are expected to greatly expand through the promotion of automation and autonomy by robots and the applications of robot technologies to support manned space activities.

Advanced Mission Research Group

Space Solar Power Systems (SSPS) are designed to collect solar energy with a large-scale solar collector installed in outer space and transmit the solar energy to Earth as either microwave or laser energy, which is converted into electric power for use. The Advanced Mission Research Group researches energy transmission technologies that use microwaves and lasers, large-scale structure construction technologies for outer space and other technologies for the SSPS.