News : March 15, 2016

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Visiting JAXA Chofu Aerospace Center

On Jan. 26, we had a really good chance to visit Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Chofu Aerospace Center.

JAXA Aerospace Center
JAXA Aerospace Center

The center is near our campus, NAOJ Mitaka Campus. We did not have a chance to visit. However, this time, we are luckily having a chance to visit there. Dr. Takashi Ito and Dr. Fumi Yoshida, researcher of NAOJ, research collaborate with Dr. Toshifumi Yanagisawa, JAXA researcher. This tour is achieved with Dr. Yanagisawa's great support.

Supercomputer Room

Usually, the campus open to the public only exhibition room area. However, this time, we visited several areas in the campus, of course including exhibition room.

At first, we saw promotion video of campus. Then we visited JAXA supercomputer system, Exhibition room, a laboratory for hypersonic wind, and an observatory for space debris.

At the supercomputer building, the engineers of the division explained and showed about the history of supercomputer, the system, latest technology, and samples. We looked the 3-D motion movie and samples of 3-D printer based on the simulation by the supercomputer.

We, NAOJ, have also supercomputer, but this is good chance to know other institute's supercomputer.

In the exhibition room, there are many models of aircrafts for test, and the monitor showed the record of test flight for Hypersonic Transport Aircraft. This is very interesting exhibition. Also, there is simulator of Space Flight. Two of us experienced the control the space flight and others enjoyed the passenger of the flight.

Exhibition Room: Aircraft
One of the aircraft in Exhibition Room.

Then we visited the laboratory for hypersonic wind. At there, we were also given the explanation from the researcher of the project. After the explanation, we had a chance to look the machine closer. Especially, the Schlieren System that observer can see the air flow in visualized image is very exiting system. We tried to make and see the air flow.

The laboratory for hypersonic wind
Pictures of the laboratory for hypersonic wind.

At the last, Dr. Yanagisawa showed us his observational space, an Observatory for space debris. The observatory is set at a rooftop of a building in the campus. He showed the telescope which is used for the space debris observation. For us, the specification and system of the telescope is really interesting.

During the whole tour, the guide staff explained about the institute, exhibition room, buildings, and so on.

Here is the comment from attendee, “I really enjoyed JAXA's tour. Besides the thrill of visiting one of its scientific facilities; from an outreach point of view, it was quite the experience - to be able to explore first hand how they engage with the different visitors.”

Observatory for space debris.

Also, another attendee said “This tour took us places that were off-limits even on the Chofu Aerospace Center Open House Day; and there were no crowds. It was an honor that so many busy people took the time to show us around.”

We really appreciate Dr. Yanagisawa and JAXA members kind invitation.

Exhibition Room: Aircraft
Group photo.