Research & Development

JAXA promotes three research and development programs and a fundamental research program that underpins them.

Unmanned Airplane for Radiation Monitoring System (UARMS)

Next Generation Aeronautical Innovation Hub Center

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Since June 2012, JAXA, in cooperation with the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) , has been conducting research and development on a small Unmanned Aerial Radiation Monitoring System (UARMS).

JAXA's research focuses on:

  • Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system design including on-board system redundancy
  • System safety technologies for small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations
  • Automatic flight control technologies for more precise radiation monitoring

JAEA's research focuses on:

  • Aerial radiation monitoring methodologies using UAS
  • Light and small radiation detector system

The research is being conducted to be used for radiation-monitoring missions in the restricted area of Fukushima in the near future.

Conceptual diagram of radiation monitoring

Conceptual diagram of radiation monitoring



UARMS Specification (Improved version)
Dimensions Length: 2.7 m, wingspan: 4.2 m
Max. takeoff weight / Payload 50 kg / 3 to 10 kg
Power plant Engine (gasoline)
Endurance 6 hours (daytime)
Airspeed 25 to 35 m/s (90 to 126 km/h)
Takeoff and landing distance 200 to 300 m
Cruise Altitude below 250m, to fly below minimum safety altitude of civil aircraft
Control Programmed flight (including terrain-following mode)
Manual take-off and landing
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