Milestone-Proposal:Usuda Deep Space Center and Associated Deep Space Control System

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Docket #:2024-19

This is a draft proposal, that has not yet been submitted. To submit this proposal, click on the edit button in toolbar above, indicated by an icon displaying a pencil on paper. At the bottom of the form, check the box that says "Submit this proposal to the IEEE History Committee for review. Only check this when the proposal is finished" and save the page.


To the proposer’s knowledge, is this achievement subject to litigation? No

Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? Yes

Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s designated fields as defined by IEEE Bylaw I-104.11, namely: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy. Yes

Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? Yes

Was it of at least regional importance? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? No

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? Yes

Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes

Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an IEEE Milestone? Yes


Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:

1984

Title of the proposed milestone:

Usuda Deep Space Center and Associated Deep Space Control System, 2024

Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:

Usuda Deep Space Center and the control system for space exploration were built in 1984 by ISAS with Melco and NEC to perform Halley’s comet observations in International Armada. They include the world-first tracking antenna fed through beam-waveguides with 64m diameter, the most advanced electronic devices, and the optimized system configuration for easy operation, and contributed to the successes of space and astronomical missions more than XXX including international collaborations.

200-250 word abstract describing the significance of the technical achievement being proposed, the person(s) involved, historical context, humanitarian and social impact, as well as any possible controversies the advocate might need to review.

Since the 1950s, research and development on space has been scientifically and socially required by the International Geophysical Year (IGY) project. In particular, when Halley's Comet approached the Earth in 1986, exploration of deep space (beyond 2 million km) became an urgent task.

 The research institute in charge of this field in Japan was the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science under the direct control of the Ministry of Education, and began to consider facilities to deal with this problem.

As a result, Halley's Comet is required to communicate at an ultra-distant distance of about 300 million km, which is opposite the Sun from the Earth. At the Usuda Space Observatory, a large antenna, a low-noise amplifier, and a high-power transmitter were required. Observation information received from the deep space probe was sent to the control headquarters at the Sagamihara Campus via a communication line, and command information to the spacecraft was sent to Usuda. Both the Usuda Space Observatory and the Sagamihara Control Headquarters were required to operate with a small number of people.

IEEE technical societies and technical councils within whose fields of interest the Milestone proposal resides.

Antennas and Propagation Society, Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society, Instrumentation and Measurement Society, Professional Communication Society, Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society

In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?

IEEE Tokyo Section and IEEE Shin-etsu Section

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):

Unit: IEEE Tokyo Section
Senior Officer Name: Kiyoharu AIZAWA

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:

Unit: IEEE Tokyo Section
Senior Officer Name: Kiyoharu AIZAWA

IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):

IEEE Section: IEEE Tokyo Section
IEEE Section Chair name: Kiyoharu AIZAWA

Milestone proposer(s):

Proposer name: Tomonao Hayashi
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Proposer name: Tadashi Takano
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.

Street address(es) and GPS coordinates in decimal form of the intended milestone plaque site(s):

3-1-1 Yoshino-dai, chuo-ku, Sagamihara, Japan GPS coordinates: N35.5581444 and E139.3864524

Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.

Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need. Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Sagamihara Campus:

 It houses various research and testing facilities as well as the headquarters of the institute.
 Various computers calculate the trajectory of spacecraft such as deep space probes and satellites, calculate the control of the spacecraft, and create commands for mission execution. There is a display device for that.
 The results of their calculations are sent to the Usuda station via the communication network.
 It is transmitted from the Usuda station to the spacecraft by radio waves.
 Telemetry data representing the status of the spacecraft and observation data generated by the spacecraft are received by the Usuda station and sent to Sagamihara via the network.
 Visitors will be able to see these facilities during the opening period. In addition, the history of the institute's spacecraft and the results of its research are displayed in the Space Science Exploration and Exchange Building, so you can learn about the activities and positions of the Usuda Station.
 It is also an advantage that it is close to the station of the Yokohama Line and has good access. 
 

Are the original buildings extant?

Yes.

Details of the plaque mounting:

The Space Science Exploration and Exchange Building on the Sagamihara Campus is a one-story building with a hall, so it will be installed there.

How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?

At the Space Science Exploration and Exchange Building, visitors fill out the form at the entrance and go inside.

Who is the present owner of the site(s)?

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)? If personal names are included in citation, include justification here. (see section 6 of Milestone Guidelines)

Since the 1950s, research and development on space has been scientifically and socially required by the International Geophysical Year (IGY) project. In particular, when Halley's Comet approached the Earth in 1986, exploration of deep space (beyond 2 million km) became an urgent task.

 The research institute in charge of this field in Japan was the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science under the direct control of the Ministry of Education, and has begun to consider facilities to deal with this problem.
 As a result, it was required to communicate with the explorer at an ultra-distant distance of about 300 million km, when Halley's Comet is opposite the Sun from the Earth. At the Usuda Space Observatory, a large antenna, a low-noise amplifier, and a high-power transmitter were required.
 Observation information received from the deep space probe was sent to the control headquarters at the Sagamihara Campus via a communication line, and command information to the spacecraft was sent to Usuda.
 Both the Usuda Space Observatory and the Sagamihara Control Headquarters were required to operate with a small number of people.
 Even after the end of the world's joint observations of Halley's Comet, a huge antenna was required to provide communication and tracking capabilities for space probes involving the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science. In particular, it became indispensable for the exploration and return of asteroids for the first time in the world.
 In addition, for the preliminary experiment of the Space Very Long Baseline Radio Interferometer (Space VLBI) and the development and operation of the Space VLBI satellite, an antenna with a huge aperture and connectivity of different frequencies was required.

For radio astronomy and astrophysical observations, it was necessary to connect to multiple frequencies.

What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?

In order to receive extremely low levels of radio waves, it was first necessary to build an antenna that could drive in all directions and had the highest gain in the world (i.e., one of the largest in the world).

 In the 1980s, the Deep Space Network (DSN) in the United States had the largest antenna in the world, but it was expanded to 70 meters. For the Usuda antenna, the same performance as the gain of the DSN70m antenna was required.
 It is necessary to amplify low-level received radio waves against the noise (thermal noise) that exists constantly. Moreover, since it is related to the maintenance of the equipment, it was necessary to design the optimal one.
 The high-power amplifier sends microwaves from the Usuda station to the spacecraft, and a transmission power of 20 KW in the 2 GHz band was required for 16 bps communication with the Halley's Comet probe. A water-cooled klystron was adopted, but the receiver had to be protected and prevent interference.
 The position and speed of the spacecraft are obtained as a result of sending a measurement signal, receiving a response, and analyzing it. The measurement accuracy depends on the type of measurement signal, the error characteristics, and the accuracy of the reference time (atomic clock). Therefore, atomic clocks need to be stable for a long time. In addition, short-term stability was required for radio astronomy such as VLBI.
 Due to the small budget of the institute, it is not possible to devote a great deal of effort to the operation of these devices. Therefore, the antenna drive system cannot be adopted because it takes time and effort to maintain the hydraulic type, such as oil leakage.
 When connecting the transceiver to the antenna, transmission loss can be reduced by connecting it directly to the back of the antenna as in the past. However, the maintenance work is not desirable because it requires work at a height of about 90 m.
 Initially, the antenna was used only in the S band (2 GHz band), but as the antenna became more widely used, it became necessary to support other frequencies. In particular, after the 1990 test satellite, the X band (8 GHz band) was required, and for VLBI, the L band (1.6 GHz band), C band (5 GHz band), and K band (20 GHz band) were required.
 Therefore, it was necessary to add a feed horn and a connecting waveguide that matched each frequency (antenna mirror surface and beam. 

For the maintenance and operation of Usuda's facilities and communication with the Sagamihara Campus, computers, software, and display consoles are required. The design was based on equipment compatible with conventional scientific satellites, but it needed to have the performance and operability to track the Halley's Comet probe. Almost the same equipment is needed in Sagamihara.

 From Usuda to Sagamihara, it was necessary to realize a high-speed data line of 100 kbps. However, the distance from the Usuda antenna to the nearest telephone office was 7 km, which was difficult to use with conventional copper wires. At that time, the telephone company (NTT) did not have optical fiber installed in the local line, but as a special case, optical fiber was drawn to realize the data line.
 Since it receives weak radio waves from deep space probes, it was important for the deep space station to prevent unwanted radio waves from the surrounding area from being mixed in. For this reason, we selected several places where micro-communication lines did not pass and where car telephone signals did not reach (at that time) and conducted on-site verifications. As a result, the site of Usuda was chosen and the antenna was built.

What features set this work apart from similar achievements?

1. Dealing with the fact that changing the angle of the giant reflector will cause it to be deformed by gravity

 In the Usuda antenna, the structure was designed so that the deformed mirror surface becomes a parabolic surface (homology technology).
 The change in the parabolic surface is corrected by driving the sub-reflector. This can be flexibly designed according to the environment.
 On the other hand, the 70-meter antenna of DSN in the United States uses a method of placing a flat plate that is deformed by gravity in the radio passage (Deformable Flat Plate) and a method of adjusting the electric field blown on the main reflector (Array-Feed Compensation System) by configuring the primary radiator with an array. This is complex in design and has limited scope.

⒉ Large antenna that can drive the whole space and transmit and receive radio waves

 The large antenna of the Usuda station can drive the entire space and transmit and receive radio waves.
 There are large antennas in the world. For example, China has an antenna with a diameter of 500 meters, but it is not possible to drive the antenna because it is dug into the ground to create a parabola.
 Europe has a large antenna with a diameter of 100 m that can drive the entire space, but it is only for reception and cannot transmit
 Therefore, the only antennas that can be compared to the Usuda station antenna are the 70m antennas of the US DSN and the Russian Deep Space Network.
 The Usuda antenna achieved an antenna gain of 61.6 dBi, which is equivalent to the gain of the DSN70m antenna (63.3 dBi).

3. Support for multiple frequencies

 The Usuda antenna responds to multiple frequencies by adding horns and feeder waveguides.
 On the other hand, the 70-m antenna of DSN in the United States consists of an S band and an X-band discriminating filter (frequency selection plate), and is shared by the Cassegrain antenna type and the Barabola antenna type. Therefore, there is no degree of freedom in frequency expansion, and it is not easy to adjust and change.

4. Connecting the antenna to electronic equipment

 The Usuda antenna uses a beam power supply system, so the connected device can be fixed to the building floor.

In the DSN70m antenna, the communication equipment is attached directly to the back of the antenna. Therefore, since the communication equipment is at a height of about 90 m and at an angle, it is extremely difficult to maintain and operate it.

5. Antenna drive system

 In the Usuda antenna, the antenna is driven by an electric type.

On the other hand, hydraulic antennas were common at that time, including DSN70m antennas. This is difficult to precisely control due to the large number of oil leaks.

6. Antenna angle standard

 When the antenna direction is changed, the paraboloid of the antenna mirror surface and the rotation axis are deformed. At that time, a laser collimator was used as an angle standard that did not change. The overall angle setting achieves a high accuracy of 0.003 degrees rms compared to a beam width of 0.13 degrees.

Supporting texts and citations to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement: Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or chapters in scholarly books. 'Scholarly' is defined as peer-reviewed, with references, and published. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. All supporting materials must be in English, or accompanied by an English translation.


Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC): All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to ieee-history@ieee.org. Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information.


Please email a jpeg or PDF a letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property, and a letter (or forwarded email) from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application to ieee-history@ieee.org with the subject line "Attention: Milestone Administrator." Note that there are multiple texts of the letter depending on whether an IEEE organizational unit other than the section will be paying for the plaque(s).

Please recommend reviewers by emailing their names and email addresses to ieee-history@ieee.org. Please include the docket number and brief title of your proposal in the subject line of all emails.