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Department of Seamless Environmental Prediction Research

Basic marine technology

High-strength Structural Materials

Prototype of hybrid pressure-resistant container

Ceramics pressure-resistant spherical housing, 445 mm in diameter
  • High-strength structural material for structural members of deep-water vehicles and containers for underwater equipment have been developed.
  • Ceramics pressure-resistant spherical housing that can withstand the pressure of water depth up to 11,000 m has been developed for self-pup-up ocean-bottom seismometers.
  • A prototype hybrid (allied carbon and metals) pressure-resistance container has also been created.

High-speed Communication System

  • High-speed communication system has been developed to enable monitoring and control of floating observation equipment, such as a buoy and an AUV surfacing, from a land base.
  • In 2010, test was done on the real-time deep-sea HDTV image transmission from the MR-X1 to JAXA’ Tsukuba Space Center via Kizuna, the Wide-band Internetworking Engineering Test and Demonstration Satellite.

Power System for Long-term Observation

  • A liquid fuel-cell for long-term observation in the deep sea has been developed.
  • In 2010, a performance test of the fuel cell was carried out, and a prototype of the Lithium Ion battery equipped with an automatic cell voltage balance-controller has been built.

Southern Ocean Buoy

  • The Southern Ocean Buoy is an observation platform, the first in the Southern Ocean area, that has been developed to contribute to the study of ocean circulation and climate change.
  • In 2010, a behavior analysis test was conducted to analyze basic behavior on the coast of Hokkaido in winter using the present buoy.
Projected Environmental Conditions of the Southern Ocean Buoy
  • Maximum wind speed: 20 m/s
  • Surface current: 50 cm/s
  • Wave height: 8 m
  • Minimum temperature: -10
  • Sea ice concentration: under 1/10 (winter)

Shuttle vehicle for Virtual Mooring

Long-term ocean monitoring by shuttle vehicles
  • A new project to develop a shuttle vehicle for virtual mooring has been initiated. The vehicle will stay at the designated site and will perform long-term monitoring of the marine environment from the sea-bottom to the surface; it will return the data via satellites.
  • In 2010, measurements of hydrodynamic characteristics are being made using a small-sized model, and a prototype vehicle is being developed.