Govt space policy to promote national interest

April 30, 2009 at 4:08 pm | Posted in Space Law, Space Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty

Source: The Daily Yomiuri Online  

The government’s Strategic Headquarters for Space Policy on Monday approved a draft of the nation’s first basic space development plan. How will this impact Japan’s future space policy?

The basic plan, which covers fiscal 2009 to 2013, addresses some issues not taken up by the government’s past space development programs.

More specifically, the latest plan discusses how space strategy can better promote national defense and diplomacy, and also presents a long-term course of action and a slow but steady policy line for space development.

The headquarters aims to launch 34 satellites, including commercial ones, during the period.

Among them, a satellite to replace Daichi, which observes inland areas, will be launched in fiscal 2013, and the number of satellites dedicated to the task will be increased to four in 10 years.

The satellites are part of a plan to provide graphic information to disaster-hit areas in other Asian countries within four hours of a natural disaster occurring. The government intends to use the system for diplomatic purposes.

However, plans concerning most of the 34 satellites have been decided for many years. In that context, the new government draft can be seen to contain few new elements for business circles.

The private sector had expected new commercial demand to be created by the Basic Law of Space, which lifted a ban on the use of outer space for defense purposes, resulting in numerous government projects to launch new satellites.

The government’s midterm defense equipment improvement program stipulates how many tanks and submarines will be procured.

The law also requires the government to make a list of satellites and rockets to be procured, a provision that had generated enthusiasm among foreign companies with an interest in promoting such products in Japan.

Therefore, the basic plan presented a satellite procurement projection for the fiscal 2014-20 period to serve as a goal for the next 10 years or so.

The headquarters said the number of satellites to be procured would be 60, including commercial ones. Though the government did not guarantee the number, a member of the headquarters said, “As the direction [of the government space policy on satellite procurement] can be seen to a certain degree, it should be useful for companies to make business plans.”

The steady policy line in the basic plan is that the headquarters will confirm whether planned technologies can be realized and whether those technologies can be put to wider practical use after being developed for the space program.

For example, the headquarters set as its first step the goal of having four intelligence-gathering satellites, because the government has failed to have four intelligence-gathering satellites in orbit by 2003 as planned, due to launch failures and satellite technical troubles.

Though the opinion existed that the number of intelligence-gathering satellites should be raised to 10, the headquarters stayed with the once-failed goal of four.

Though projects to improve satellite performance are set to continue, the headquarters left it to the government to judge whether the number of intelligence-gathering satellites needs to be increased.

The basic plan includes a project to generate solar power in space and transmit the resulting electric power to Earth.

But this project will not begin in space immediately. Research and development on the ground will progress first, with the results then leading to experiments with small satellites.

In the nation’s past space development efforts, projects often were launched without sufficient examination of whether there would be enough users of the systems or of the feasibility of the planned technologies.

These shortcomings resulted in project delays and cost increases. As a result, the rationale and significance of the space projects tended to be unclear.

But the law’s aims can be fully realized and the nation’s space development progress only if technologies are used in a balanced manner.

The basic plan contains positive signs that the national program’s new working system, when it is functioning well, will include not only space development experts but also specialists from a wide range of fields.

However, the basic plan does not stipulate how much the government will invest in space projects.

The Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) expressed concern that the same problems that have afflicted space programs in the past may be repeated if budget shortages delay projects after goals are set.

The headquarters said it would be necessary to double the annual budget in five years from the current 350 billion yen.

From here on out, attention is sure to focus on how the necessary budgets can be secured and how to better utilize the funding by improving the project processes.

The first step toward these goals is the initial budget request for fiscal 2010. Yet prospects remain unclear, because the government traditionally has not given high priority to satellite launches and other space projects.

The space policy headquarters needs to work as the control tower and clarify which points of the space projects should be regarded as important, so that the goals of the basic plan can be steadily achieved.

 Chino is a senior writer.

(May. 1, 2009)

Japanese Space Plan Outlines Creation of National Satellite Defense Program

April 30, 2009 at 12:03 pm | Posted in Space Law, Space Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty

Source: Satellite Today

The Japanese government is in a development phase to launch an early warning satellite that can detect missile launches by 2013 and increase the number of the country’s reconnaissance satellites from the current three to four, according to a national space plan released April 27 by Japanese government officials.
    The Japanese Strategic Headquarters for Space Policy finalized a five-year space policy which outlines the country’s first-ever space-based defense initiatives, according to government officials. The plan comes at an estimated cost of 500 billion yen ($5.1 billion) per satellite. 
    The plan also augments the country’s commercial space program and aims to launch a total of 34 satellites between 2009 and 2013, including the launch of an unmanned lunar probe in 2020.  
    Japanese government officials said the course of the space plan was determined by North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket in early April. 

U.S. May Monitor Pirates From Space

April 30, 2009 at 11:49 am | Posted in Remote Sensing Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty

Source: AviationWeek

 

Photo: COM DEV AND ANALYTICAL GRAPHICS INC.

The U.S. is exploring the use of commercial satellites to enhance ship identification and communication for the battle against piracy.

Long before the U.S.-flagged container ship Maersk Alabama was attacked by Somali pirates this month, a sister vessel, the Maersk Iowa, was plying the sea lanes between the U.S. East Coast and the Indian Ocean, testing a device that combines the information obtained from shipboard radar and identification transponders to give authorities a better overview of who is on the water and what they are up to.

Now, the U.S. Office of Global Maritime Situational Awareness wants to leverage that data fusion technology to create a spaced-based collaboration for International Global Maritime Awareness. Guy Thomas, the office’s science and technology adviser, envisions a networked information system using commercial satellites to transmit a common operating picture to authorities, allowing them to monitor large ocean areas.

Thomas, a former Navy signals intelligence officer working for the interagency maritime situational awareness office, thinks navigational radar and other sensor data from thousands of merchant ships—enhanced by commercial satellites rapidly relaying the information to authorities—could help overcome the challenge of monitoring the vast maritime domain.

Using existing commercial satellite technology, such as synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and electro-optical and infrared imaging, could provide all-weather night-and-day surveillance, even in heavy cloud cover. The satellites and shipboard sensors would complement each other, either calling attention to anomalies or checking and verifying them. The time it takes to download information from a satellite could be as little as 5 min., says Thomas. The information would be made available to authorities in an unclassified format. L-band radar, less detailed but also less expensive, would be adequate to detect the wake of ships at sea from space, he asserts.

Probably the greatest obstacle facing the warships from more than a dozen nations patrolling the pirate-infested waters between the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea is that the area “is just vast, more than a million square miles,” says Gordan Van Hook, the director of innovation and concept development for the U.S.-based Maersk Line Ltd. According to U.S. Central Command, 33,000 ships passed through the Gulf of Aden in 2008. The same year, 122 piracy events occurred, with 42 successful and 80 unsuccessful.

International maritime regulations require commercial ships weighing more than 300 tons to carry an Automated Information System. Initially intended as an anti-collision device, the AIS is similar to the transponders that FAA regulations require on civil aircraft. Broadcasting on VHF radio, it divulges a ship’s identification number, navigation status, speed and course heading every 2-10 sec. Name, cargo, size, destination and estimated time of arrival are broadcast about every 6 min. Other vessels with AIS in range constantly receive those data. However, each vessel is its own information bubble, says Van Hook, and cannot share data about other ships it encounters with authorities when more than 50 mi. from shore.

In a test project funded by the Transportation Dept., Lockheed Martin put a prototype data fusion system, known as Neptune, on Maersk cargo vessels, starting with the Maersk Iowa in 2006. Neptune took the information obtained by the ship’s radar, which has a radius of about 20 mi., and combined it with data from passing ships received through its AIS. The information was sent via an Inmarsat satellite to a Lockheed Martin fusion center in Eagan, Minn., says Van Hook.

Conceivably the information could one day be relayed to a regional or international maritime operations center. Lockheed Martin’s Maritime Systems and Sensors unit eventually put the laptop-size Neptune device on four Maersk vessels, but not the Maersk Alabama. Around the same time, Thomas was working with the Naval Research Laboratory on a similar data fusion device.

Last year, a Canadian company, COM DEV International Ltd., launched a test satellite with AIS data-collecting technology, and plans to put more in orbit.

Thomas says a regional entity such as NATO, or an international one such as the U.N., needs to create a coordinating office to manage the satellite-data dissemination. But so far, that hasn’t happened.

His presentation at international maritime conferences in Canada, Chile, France and Brazil have been well received. “Each time people have said, ‘We need to do something like this.’ But nobody has stepped forward to take a leadership role.” However, that was before the pirate incidents on the Somali coast grabbed headlines, he notes.

Photo: COM DEV AND ANALYTICAL GRAPHICS INC.

DigitalGlobe Files Initial Public Offering with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

April 30, 2009 at 11:41 am | Posted in Remote Sensing Law, Remote Sensing Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty

Source: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Original

3d amendment

4th amendment

5th amendment


Russia Ratifies Protocol with Kazakhstan

April 30, 2009 at 9:27 am | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

Roscosmos is reporting that President Medvedev has signed a law that ratifies the Protocol between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, on introducing changes in the lease of Baikonur between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated December 10, 1994. The law can be downloaded from the Kremlin’s website.

COTS-D Funding?

April 29, 2009 at 2:57 pm | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

The Orlando Sentinel reports:

COTS D – Commercial Human Spaceflight to get at least $80m
posted by Robert Block on Apr 29, 2009 11:33:52 AM

Cots NASA and the White House have agreed for the first time to release money to the human spaceflight option in its Commercial Orbital Transportation Services, or COTS program.

Under an agreement hammered out with the White House, NASA announced today on Capitol Hill that it will provide the COTS program with $150 million of the $400 million for human exploration given to NASA under President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan.

The money could help shorten the gap in American human space flight between the retirement of the space shuttle next year and the first flight of NASA’s Constellation program, now scheduled for 2015 but believed to be slipping fast because of technical and financial woes.

According to industry insiders, about $80 million of the $150 million is specifically for a “crewed launch demo.” The rest was broken down into $42 million for a docking system to the international space station, $20 million for a cargo transportation demo and $8 million for miscellaneous aspects of the COTS program, including human rating. The remaining $250 million of the stimulus money for human exploration will go to the Constellation program. . . .

But Rob Coppinger at Hyperbola states that NASA told him that this was not money intended for COTS-D:

. . . These are the facts:

* NASA is to spend $150 million, not $80 million
* it is to enable earlier Commercial Resupply Services cargo missions
* these early flights will help NASA determine what human rating requirements are needed
* it will also fund work on standardisation of International Space Station docking

This has nothing to do with COTS-D and reports of a crewed launch demo being funded by this money are not true says NASA . . .

Hearing: Keeping the Space Environment Safe for Civil and Commercial Users

April 29, 2009 at 9:03 am | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

Documents available from The House Science and Technology Committee Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee’s hearing on Keeping the Space Environment Safe for Civil and Commercial Users:

Hearing Charter

Opening Statements
* Chairwoman Gabrielle Giffords

Witness Statements
* Lt. Gen. Larry D. James
* Mr. Nicholas Johnson
* Mr. Richard DalBello
* Dr. Scott Pace

Additional Documents Submitted for the Record

Library: A Round-up of Reading

April 28, 2009 at 9:55 am | Posted in Library | Leave a comment

Articles
34 Air & Space Law:

# Leading articles
Onno Rijsdijk, A Particular Aircraft Accident Litigation Scenario, p.57

Lucien Rapp, When France Puts Its Own Stamp on the Space Law Landscape: Comments on Act No. 2008-518 of 3 June 2008 Relative to Space Operations, p.87

Geert Goeteyn, EC Aviation Scene Major Developments July 2008-November 2008, p.105

Carlos Grau Tanner, Agenda for Freedom for International Air Transport New Proposals to Break the Foreign Ownership Deadlock in the Airline Industry, p.127

# Case Notes
Tim Marland, Reports on Montreal Convention 1999 Court Decisions Court of Appeal Does Not Put a Foot Wrong, p.135

Brian F. Havel and Niels van Antwerpen, The Dutch Ticket Tax and Article 15 of the Chicago Convention, p.141

# Coming Events, p.147

Taylor Dinerman, Sustainability: just another excuse for a UN power grab?, The Space Review

Reports
GAO – HOMELAND DEFENSE: Actions Needed to Address Management of Air Sovereignty Alert Operations to Protect U.S. Airspace

GAO – AVIATION SAFETY: Potential Strategies to Address Air Ambulance Safety Concerns

Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites: Acquisition Is Under Way, but Improvements Needed in Management and Oversight. GAO-09-323, April 2

Transportation Security: Comprehensive Risk Assessments and Stronger Internal Controls Needed to Help Inform TSA Resource Allocation. GAO-09-492, March 27

GAO – GEOSTATIONARY OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL SATELLITES: Acquisition Has Increased Costs, Reduced Capabilities, and Delayed Schedules

ESPI – Space Power and Europe in the 21st Century

Blogs
Space Deterrence Concept of Increasing Relevance to Security of U.S. Space – Secure World Foundation Blog

Does Amb. Rice Believe UN Security Council Presidential Signing Statements are Legally Binding? – Opinio Juris

Michael Krepon’s Shoebox – Arms Control Wonk

European Commission Investigates Star, oneworld – Aviation Law Prof Blog

Russia wants the ABM Treaty back – Russain Strategic Nuclear Forces

SLVs and ICBMs – Total Wonker

Brazilians Have Been Hacking U.S. Navy Satellites with Homemade Gear for Years – Got GEOINT?

Divorce, Pentagon Style – DoD Buzz

Is COTS-D Gaining Ground? – NASA Watch

The Cold War’s legacy, not ITAR is your problem Mr Bigelow – Hyperbola

More from the Conference on NEO Law and Policy – Planetary Society Blog

Airline passenger “Bill of Rights” legislation resurrected – NV Flyer

PlanetSpace Denied Protest to Halt Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Orbital Launches – Spaceports

2009 IAA Planetary Defense Conference: Day 1 (Introduction and Session 1 Part 1/2) – Planetary Defense

2009 IAA Planetary Defense Conference: Day 1 (Session 1 – Part 2/2) – Planetary Defense

DoD TableTop Exercise on Planetary Defense Online – Planetary Defense

The Necessity of Science – The White House Blog

No space trip for you Mr Chen* – Hyperbola

Edward Teller on the ABM Treaty – Arms Control Wonk

Restricting ITAR restrictions – RLV and Space Transport News

2009 IAA Planetary Defense Conference: Day 2 (Session 2 – Part 1/2) – Planetary Defense

Better Data Needed To Enhance Civil and Commercial Spaceflight – Secure World Foundation

Space Florida launchpad fails to win federal funding – The Write Stuff

Japan Not to Block South Korea Launch Overflight

April 28, 2009 at 9:33 am | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

From Space Daily:

Japan sees no problem in SKorea rocket launch: govt

by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) April 22, 2009
Japan sees no problem in South Korea’s plans to launch a rocket carrying its first satellite which may fly over Japanese territory, the government said Wednesday.

“I believe there is no problem as we have been holding informal talks on the issue, including on the aspect of safety” with South Korea, Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone told reporters. . . . [Full Story]

Council of the European Union Aviation Documents

April 28, 2009 at 9:18 am | Posted in Aviation Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

New aviation documents from the Council of the European Union:

7485/09 – Single Sky package (a) Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulations (EC) No 549/2004, (EC) No 550/2004, (EC) No 551/2004 and (EC) No 552/2004 in order to improve the performance and sustainability of the European aviation system (LA) (First reading)

6828/09 – Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulations (EC) No 549/2004, (EC) No 550/2004, (EC) No 551/2004 and (EC) No 552/2004 in order to improve the performance and sustainability of the European aviation system (LA) (First reading) – Preparation for the informal trialogue

6560/09 – Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulations (EC) no 549/2004, (EC) no 550/2004, (EC) no 551/2004 and (EC) no552/2004 in order to improve the performance and sustainability of the European aviation system – Outcome of discussions in Working Party

5890/09 – Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulations (EC) no 549/2004, (EC) no 550/2004, (EC) no 551/2004 and (EC) no552/2004 in order to improve the performance and sustainability of the European aviation system – Information from the Presidency

5464/09 – Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulations (EC) no 549/2004, (EC) no 550/2004, (EC) no 551/2004 and (EC) no552/2004 in order to improve the performance and sustainability of the European aviation system – Information from the Presidency

5890/09 COR 1 – Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulations (EC) no 549/2004, (EC) no 550/2004, (EC) no 551/2004 and (EC) no552/2004 in order to improve the performance and sustainability of the European aviation system – Information from the Presidency

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