STAR – Safety Technology for Aviation and Disaster-Relief Program
Loss of control in flight (LOC-I) triggered by meteorological factors such as turbulence has been reported as the leading cause of serious aircraft accidents and incidents during the 10 years up to 2012. Based on JAXA's world-leading laser radar (LIDAR) technology, one project of the STAR program aims to realize weather safety avionics for next-generation passenger aircraft by developing a gust response/load alleviation system to reduce suppress wing vibrations and motions induced by turbulence. This project will help to prevent a major cause of in-flight accidents and incidents as well as boosting the competitiveness of the Japan's equipment manufacturers.
Weather safety avionics system
Although aircraft played a major role in disaster relief in the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake, it has become apparent that improvements are required in information sharing, mission coordination and enabling all-weather operations. To strengthen the capability to respond to any future large-scale disaster, JAXA is pursuing the development of a disaster relief aircraft operations control system to make safer and more effective use of disaster relief aircraft assets. The system includes satellite observation and communication for greater efficiency and information management capability. JAXA is also developing technologies to expand the use of unmanned aircraft in disaster relief operations.
Structure of disaster-relief aircraft management system network (D-NET2)
R&D of onboard safety avionics technology to prevent turbulence-induced aircraft accidents (SafeAvio)
By combining "Doppler LIDAR" that detects turbulence in advance with an automatic attitude control system for aircraft, JAXA is developing "airframe technology for turbulence accident prevention (weather safety avionics)" to suppress sudden shaking by turbulence
JAXA has researched and developed a novel air-traffic management system that is ready for future increases in air traffic, as well as a system that allows information sharing among numerous deployed relief aircraft and with a disaster-relief headquarters in the event of a large-scale disaster.
JAXA has been developing technlologies required for the implementation of the "Integrated aircraft operation system for disaster relief system", which is to contribute to safe and efficient operation of disaster relief aircraft and collection and sharing of disaster information through integrated operations of manned aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and satellites. In doing so, JAXA's goal is to contribute to strengthen the nation's ability to respond to future disasters.
By cruising the sky over the region, long-endurance UAVs enable continuous monitoring of the progression of stricken areas and to implement a communication relay platform that complements ground communications networks.
JAXA works on the development of a small unmanned aerial system that is suitable for radiation monitoring by using a small long-endurance UAV equipped with a radiation detector that Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) has been using on unmanned helicopters and/or with another detector with improved real-time monitoring features.
JAXA is developing "airframe safety management technology", a system that detects, predicts and administers the state of each airframe more effectively. The system can effectively sustain reliability of airframe safety against external factors, such as icing, lightning strikes, gusts of wind, hard landings, bird strikes, collision with foreign object and more.