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Japan Space Forum




Japan Space Forum (JSF) was established to coordinate an alliance of industry, government, and academia for the development of Japan’s aerospace industry. JSF operates under policies established by the Japanese government and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) while providing support for research proposals and implementing programs designed to educate and enlighten the public about the aerospace industry as well as provide for the exchange and development of human resources.

JSF’s mission is to function as both a think-tank and a clearinghouse for information on the aerospace industry. JSF is dedicated to providing as many people as possible with the opportunity to learn more about outer space and to participate in the development of Japan’s aerospace industry.

Established in February 1994, the objective of JSF was to contribute to the development of the Japanese economy in general and the enhancement of Japan’s aerospace and other science and technology in particular through the promotion of businesses utilizing science and technology.



source: JSF


The activities of JSF include:

  • Research surveys regarding aerospace and other science and technology
  • Sponsorship and cooperation in the promotion of international conferences and symposiums on aerospace and other science and technology
  • Promotion of programs designed to educate and enlighten the public about the aerospace and other science and technology as well as to contribute to the development and exchange of human resources in these fields
  • Other activities necessary to the achievement of JSF’s objectives

Business activities include:

  • Jointly organizing the Satellite Design Contest

  • Planning and management of “Public relations network of Astronomy, Space and Aviation”
  • Planning and running of events of National Space Day
  • Support for spin-offs of aerospace technologies
  • Design and produce of space-related products

Other business activities include:

  • Support and coordination for space experiments
  • Support for operation of “The International Space Station/Kibo Utilization Promotion Committee”
  • Support for experiments of high-quality crystal growth for protein structure analysis
  • Management of Spaceguard Center observatories for space debris
  • Research of international aerospace information
  • Support for the International Disasters Charter agency in Japan
  • Support for organizing an advisory council on space policy
  • Support and management of international conferences
  •  Planning and support of public relations of rocket launching
  • Maintenance and operation of websites
  • Production of public relations activity tool for research and development of space aeronautics and science & technology
  • Support for educational experiments in micro gravity by aircraft
  • Loan of space-related exhibits

Supporting members







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Space for Innovation in Rail

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Just when you thought Galaxy Express 999 was just in animation.  The ‘Space for Innovation Rail’ forum to be held in Vienna, Austria over 18-19 March 2019 is an opportunity to discuss innovation and digitalisation in the rail sector with specific focus on GNSS applications for rail.

The event is jointly organised by the Austrian Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology, European GNSS Agency (GSA), Shift2rail Joint Undertaking (S2R JU), and the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA).

Both GSA and Shift2Rail are market-driven European initiatives and hence there is a greater strategic and regulatory perspective from the European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS).

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source: GPS world

The event will focus on the progress achieved thus far on the implementation of GNSS Roadmap for rail as well as the availability of a GNSS enabled and certifiable training position for the ERTMS, as well as business challenges and regulatory perspectives towards GNSS adoption for rail.

Examples of recent projects include the Satellite Technology for Advanced Railway Signalling (STARS).  And the aim of STARS project is to develop a universal approach to predict the achievable GNSS performance in a railway environment, and particularly for safety-critical applications within the European Railway Traffic Management System.


The aim is to allow for interoperability between the equipment provided by different GNSS suppliers.  Aside from filling the technology gap the goal is to reach a cost-efficient satellite-based ERTMS.  Moreover, the project is focusing on the predictive performance of GNSS in the railway environment to add value via accuracy, availability and safety.




Another example is ESA- aided project of 3InSat (Train Integrated Safety Satellite System) project on a regional railway in Sardinia (Italy), co-funded within the framework of ESA’s ARTES 20 program.  The program is led by Ansaldo STS and the 3InSat team are developing and validating satellite services compatible with the European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS).

Since 2004, when ERTMS was rolled out in a number of European rail lines, other parts of the world have also caught on, including China and New Zealand.



When the European Space Agency launched the initiative in July 2018 it was to support space-based enhancements to Europe’s railway network.  Space4Rail highlights the support on the use of GNSS in rail applications whilst raising awareness of the added value that space systems potentially deliver.  Space4Rail has been set up as a one-stop shop for the rail industry to learn about the agency and potential for submissions and proposals.  ESA is already contributing to the Next Generation Train Control (NGTC) project through a satellite expert group, providing technical expertise on integrating satnav into future railway signaling systems.

The two main aspects of ERTMS include implementation of the European Train Control System (ETCS), a standard for in-cab train control, and GSM-R, which is a GSM- based mobile communications standard for railway operators.


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Currently, trains using ERTMS determine their location by use of balises which are electronic beacons or transponders, which are placed along a railway every 500- 1,500 meters.  The information is then transmitted via a dedicated GSM-R terrestrial network to rail traffic control centres, which use the same network and churn out recommended speeds and information to the train operators, factoring the distances between other trains.



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