Center for Frontier Astronautics


On October 5, 2007, the president of the University of Tokyo (UTokyo) and the president of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) concluded a comprehensive agreement and launched the UTokyo-JAXA Corporation Programs. The first phase, “Rocket engine modeling laboratory”, and the second phase, “Rocket and spacecraft modeling laboratory” were managed from April 2008 to March 2013, and from April 2013 to March 2018, respectively. Then, the third phase, “Center for Frontier Astronautics”, has started since November 2019.
Two research programs of “Advanced Intelligence Research Center”, and “Earth Observation Sensor Research Center” are conducted in the Center for Frontier Astronautics.
・Advanced Intelligence Research Center
The Advanced Intelligence Research Center is expected to shift to a new research paradigm for deep space exploration and reusable transportation systems. This realized through open collaborations with space agencies to enhance the utilization of earth observation satellites. Autonomy has become a focal point for spacecraft research. While this was traditionally achieved by modelling self-engineering behaviors at the component-level, efforts need to focus on sub-system and system-levels through advancements in artificial intelligence. The Advanced Intelligence Research Center recognizes that this needs some innovative thinking to integrate overarching concepts from sensing, digitization, state estimation, optimization, control and systems engineering. As a result, the research work is focusing on intelligent monitoring, AI-based control, perception and planning in the context of autonomous systems and service robots, with a focus on embedded hardware implementation of machine learning techniques for anomaly detection and prognostics and system health management. As shown in Figure below, the aim is to introduce autonomy by:
・Earth Observation Sensor Research Center
Earth Observation Sensor Research Center was founded to aggregate the knowledge of the space borne earth observation sensors design, to innovate the new observation sensor concept and technology based on the knowledge and to inherit the intellectual basis to the future generation.