Agenzia Spaziale Italiana

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ASI and JAXA strengthen cooperation

Agreement signed in Tokyo for exchanging COSMO-SkyMed and ALOS satellite data

The Italian Space Agency delegation, led by its president, Enrico Saggese, was in Tokyo for the opening of the “Italy in Japan 2009” event inaugurated by the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano. While in Japan, ASI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Japanese space agency, JAXA. The MOU regulates the exchange of data between the Italian COSMO-SkyMed satellites and the Japanese ALOS (Advanced Land Observing Satellite, equipped with L-band SAR radar). The data will be used for managing emergencies, territorial security, disaster prevention and environmental monitoring.


While in Japan, ASI’s president also had a series of meetings of a more institutional nature with the secretary-general for space policy, Masakazu Toyoda, and with the vice-minister of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Toichi Sakata. Additionally, there was a series of technical meetings with JAXA, including a workshop dedicated to telesurveying applications and monitoring environmental emergencies (remote sensing and disaster monitoring).

Japan is intensely involved in environmental issues and in studying natural disasters, and Italy is a globally recognised leader in the use of space applications for the prevention and management of emergencies. This space cooperation therefore offers a further development opportunity for the two countries which already operate internationally as part of the GEO (Group of Earth Observation) and CEOS (Committee on Earth Observation Satellites).


The visit came to a close with a meeting at the Italian Embassy where the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, encouraged the Italian Space Agency to continue its research and to establish further international collaborations.