25 October 2011. Issue 53 of the "ESPI Perspectives" series examines the history and recent progress made in the field of Space Situational Awareness (SSA) in Japan.

Space Situational Awareness (SSA) is defined as the comprehensive knowledge of the population of space objects, of the space environment, and of the existing risks and threats to the space domain. It is within the technical ability of different space-faring actors to detect, track, identify and catalogue objects in outer space. SSA activities aim to recognise the situation and threats related to space and maintain the robustness of any space operation by commercial, civil and military actors. Monitoring the space environment needs to be conducted world-wide and it is difficult to tackle the issue with each country acting separately. In this sense, the building of a new framework for international cooperation among the U.S., Europe, Japan and other countries in SSA activities is required.

The author of ESPI Perspectives 53 provides an accurate and up to date description of all the technical, operational, financial, and governance aspects of the Japanese approach to SSA, as well as an overview of its future challenges. Furthermore, he places particular emphasis on the positive role of SSA activities in promoting international cooperation in space, and highlights Japan’s own potential contribution to this process. Finally, he describes the current status of cooperation in SSA activities between Japan and Europe, and explores potential ways to improve it, in a mutually beneficial way.

Yoshinori Kobayashi, author of “ESPI Perspectives 53”

Yoshinori Kobayashi studied Mechanic-Aerospace Engineering in the Tokyo Institute of Technology (TIT), Tokyo, Japan. He started his career as a consultant at CSP Japan space consulting company from 1999. In 2002, he moved to Japan Space Forum (JSF) and dedicated to space policy research in its Public Relations and Information Department. From 2004 to 2008 he worked in the International Relations Department of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) as a contractor. He is now the Director of the Strategic Planning and Management Office at JSF. In July 2011 he completed a brief stay as Visiting Researcher at ESPI.

- ESPI Perspectives 53: “Cooperation between Japan and Europe in the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Field”


Photo credit: ESPI

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