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Catching a clue to understanding a gamma-ray burst by a small satellite ARICA

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Takanori Sakamoto
Aoyama Gakuin University、Professor
Pledged: 2,077,700 JPY
Target Amount: 2,000,000 JPY
Funded
103 %
Supporters
163
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皆様のご支援のおかげで、本日、目標金額に達成する事ができました。
本当にありがとうございます。現時点で、まだ ARICA のデータの送受信
に成功できていないという状況の中で、ご支援頂いた事に対して、大きな
責任を感じております。皆様からの思いが詰まったご支援ですので、次の
衛星開発につながっていく研究開発に利用させていただければと考えてお
ります。今後も、ARICA の運用は続けながらも、具体的な支援金の使い方
については、ARICA チーム内で十分に議論をし、皆様にご報告いたします。
ARICA の進捗についても、引き続き、academist から報告させていただきます。

ご支援、本当にありがとうございました。

Comment from academist staff
Searching for an origin of the enormous explosion developing the alert system using the commercial satellite network

Maiko Abe

A gamma-ray burst (GRB) is the most violent and bright explosion in the universe since the big bang. A GRB was discovered by the American military satellite in the late 1960s. However, its origin was an unresolved problem for a long time because of the shortness of the event and making it hard to perform a follow-up observation. Therefore, it is essential to do a real-time alert to the ground when a GRB is discovered. Dr. Sakamoto is developing a real-time alert system of a GRB utilizing the commercial satellite network. When this crowdfunding project starts on October 1, 2021, the small satellite ARICA, which has a gamma-ray instrument onboard, will launch to do the in-orbit performance experiment. Please provide us your support for the challenge to foresee a path to understand a mysterious massive explosion in the universe, a GRB!

A massive explosion in a distant universe: a gamma-ray burst

A gamma-ray burst (GRB) is one of the transient astrophysical phenomena and shows a flash of an emission. It happens about once a day somewhere in the sky, and its total emission energy in just a few tens of seconds is similar to the energy of entire stars in the galaxy emit in a whole year. The origin is believed to be a moment of an explosion of a massive star, which has a mass larger than ten times our Sun, collapses to a black hole, and a merger of two neutron stars associated with a gravitational wave. Furthermore, a GRB happens more than a billion light-years away and makes it an ideal lighthouse to study the evolution of the universe. However, the majority of its nature is still a mystery.

A gamma-ray emission from an astronomical object needs to be observed outside the Earth's atmosphere because of the absorption. Therefore, we put the gamma-ray instrument on the satellite. The vital clue in researching a transient source such as a GRB is to immediately alert the discovery to the observers worldwide and conduct a follow-up observation using various telescopes. Finally, we will be able to understand the nature of a transient source by combining those detailed follow-up observations.

However, since a satellite in a low-earth orbit rotates the Earth every 90 minutes, it is difficult to receive the alert from the ground station because of the unpredictable behavior of a GRB. Therefore, the regular ground-to-space communication makes it hard to distribute the alert to the researchers in real-time.

Developing the alert system in the small satellite ARICA

Our idea is to send the detection notice of a GRB not to the ground but to the commercial network satellites that fly above to receive the alert message immediately. AGU Remote Innovative Cubesat Alert system (ARICA) started about three years ago to demonstrate this new alert system onboard. The naming of ARICA, design, development, various ground tests, quick-look software development, and the PR activity using Twitter lead by the students of Aoyama Gakuin University.

The size of ARICA is 10 cm cube, and the weight is 1 kg. Therefore, it is called "CubeSat." Since the CubeSat is a tiny satellite, it is possible to develop within a university laboratory in several years of the development period and a significantly smaller amount of funding compared to that of a regular satellite. ARICA composes the communication devices of the Iridium satellite and the Globalstar satellite, battery, solar panels, and a gamma-ray detector which is part of the distributing data. The readout board of the gamma-ray detector was developed by one of the projects in academist, "Hunt the mysterious gamma-ray beam by the thundercloud," lead by Teru Enoto.

ARICA was selected as JAXA's innovative satellite technology demonstration-2 program and is scheduled to be launched by the Epsilon rocket on October 1, 2021.



October 1, 2021 12:00 Note: Today's launch of the Epsilon Launch Vehicle No. 5 has been canceled due to problems with the ground facilities. The launch schedule will be updated later.

October 4, 2021 19:00 Note: The launch date of the Epsilon Launch Vehicle No. 5 has been announced as October 7, 2021.

October 7, 2021 12:30 Note: Today's launch of the Epsilon Launch Vehicle No. 5 has been canceled due to strong winds in the sky. The launch schedule will be updated later.

October 28, 2021 17:00 Note: The launch date of the Epsilon Launch Vehicle No. 5 has been announced as November 7, 2021.

November 8, 2021 12:00 Note: The launch date of the Epsilon Launch Vehicle No. 5 has been announced as November 9, 2021.

Further progress in searching for a GRB

ARICA is aiming for the in-orbit operation for six months. During the regular operation, the satellite sends the housekeeping data. When the gamma-ray detector detects the transient signal, the satellite sends the alert message continuously for a minute. Furthermore, we investigate the immediate command uplink to the satellite. Based on those collected data, we will test the performance of the transient alert system.

The transient alert system, which ARICA will test, is planned to be used for the future Japanese gamma-ray burst mission "HiZ-GUNDAM." The HiZ-GUNDAM was proposed as JAXA's small satellite concept mission in 2017 and was selected as one of the candidate missions. In addition, we are planning to develop the following mission of ARICA and thinking of using the same satellite communication device in this new satellite. Thus, the exploration of ARICA directly connects to the usage of the next satellite and opens a path for the future.

Why we need your support

We develop ARICA with government funding and the internal funding from the university. However, we are short on the cost of the operation. Since we use the commercial satellite network service for downloading/uploading the data, it costs about 1.5 million yen (13.4K US dollars) for a six-month operation. Therefore, your support is planned to be spent on the operational cost of ARICA. Furthermore, although I don't want to think at this moment, in case of a failure of the launch or unable to receive the data due to the malfunction of the satellite, we would like to spend your support to develop the next following satellite of ARICA.

Our development of the satellite has just begun. We would like to have a tight connection with the supporters of this crowdfunding and continue the development for aiming the first Japanese gamma-ray burst satellite within ten years. Furthermore, I will continue the search for the mystery of GRBs with the existing collaborators in the US, European countries, China, Taiwan, and Korea. Your support links to future exploration of space science. We appreciate your kind support of our project.

Profile

Takanori Sakamoto

I had a passion for the universe when I was a child. I was an elementary school kid watching the news about the launch of NASA's Space Shuttle all the time. To become involved in the space business, I entered the engineering department at the university. However, I became more interested in the universe itself and transferred to the physics major after graduation. After receiving my Ph.D. in 2004, I worked for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for eight years. In 2012, I started a career at Aoyama Gakuin University. There are lyrics of the Japanese old rock band saying, "intelligence age of twenty-five!." I wanted not to forget my passion for the universe I had when I was twenty-five years old like in these lyrics. I want to continue contributing to research and education.

Project timeline

Date Plans
2021 October 1 Launch of ARICA (plan)
2021 October-2022 April Operation of ARICA
2021 November Presentation of ARICA at the 65 Space Sciences and Technology Conference
2022 May-August Writing the research paper
After 2022 May Continue the operation of ARICA if we can obtain the funding.

Pledge Rewards

1,100 JPY tax included
Featured: Research report
Research report

I deliver the research report of ARICA with a crystal-clear explanation by the character "ARICA".

47 supporters are supporting with this reward. (No quantity limit)

5,500 JPY tax included
Featured: Putting your name on the research report
Putting your name on the research report / Research report

I put your name (anonymous, initial, or nickname is allowed) on the research report.

53 supporters are supporting with this reward. (No quantity limit)

11,000 JPY tax included
Featured: Participation in the online science cafe
Participation in the online science cafe / Putting your name on the research report / Research report

I invite you to the online science cafe to discuss this project and the latest result about a GRB. I will talk about a GRB and have a chance for casual conversations with the participants. I also like to talk about the challenge of building a satellite from scratch.

39 supporters are supporting with this reward. (No quantity limit)

33,000 JPY tax included
Featured: Putting your name on the research paper at the acknowledgment
Putting your name on the research paper at the acknowledgment / Participation in the online science cafe / Putting your name on the research report / Research report

I put your name in the acknowledgment of the research paper about this project.

15 supporters are supporting with this reward. (No quantity limit)

55,000 JPY tax included
Featured: Invitation to the online lecture
Invitation to the online lecture / Putting your name on the research paper at the acknowledgment / Participation in the online science cafe / Putting your name on the research report / Research report

I invite you to the online lecture series about the project and a GRB. My talk will cover the history of a GRB, the latest research results, and how to make a CubeSat. There is a lot of time for questions.

5 supporters are supporting with this reward. (No quantity limit)

110,000 JPY tax included
Featured: Putting your name on the lab's webpage
Putting your name on the lab's webpage / Invitation to the online lecture / Putting your name on the research paper at the acknowledgment / Participation in the online science cafe / Putting your name on the research report / Research report

I put your name on the ARICA's webpage of our lab

3 supporters are supporting with this reward. (No quantity limit)

220,000 JPY tax included
Featured: Invitation to the individual discussion session
Invitation to the individual discussion session / Putting your name on the lab's webpage / Invitation to the online lecture / Putting your name on the research paper at the acknowledgment / Participation in the online science cafe / Putting your name on the research report / Research report

I invite you to the individual discussion session. I also invite you to our lab at Aoyama Gakuin University. You will see the lab of the development of ARICA and the small robotic telescope "AROMA-N" used for follow-up observation of GRBs.

1 supporters are supporting with this reward. (No quantity limit)

Supporters will be charged the funding amount only if the project reaches the funding goal (JPY 2,000,000) before 17:00 on December 02, 2021 (JST: GMT+9).
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1,100 JPY(tax included)

Research report

47 supporters back
(No quantity limit)

5,500 JPY(tax included)

Putting your name on the research report / Research report

53 supporters back
(No quantity limit)

11,000 JPY(tax included)

Participation in the online science cafe / Putting your name on the research report / Research report

39 supporters back
(No quantity limit)

33,000 JPY(tax included)

Putting your name on the research paper at the acknowledgment / Participation in the online science cafe / Putting your name on the research report / Research report

15 supporters back
(No quantity limit)

55,000 JPY(tax included)

Invitation to the online lecture / Putting your name on the research paper at the acknowledgment / Participation in the online science cafe / Putting your name on the research report / Research report

5 supporters back
(No quantity limit)

110,000 JPY(tax included)

Putting your name on the lab's webpage / Invitation to the online lecture / Putting your name on the research paper at the acknowledgment / Participation in the online science cafe / Putting your name on the research report / Research report

3 supporters back
(No quantity limit)

220,000 JPY(tax included)

Invitation to the individual discussion session / Putting your name on the lab's webpage / Invitation to the online lecture / Putting your name on the research paper at the acknowledgment / Participation in the online science cafe / Putting your name on the research report / Research report

1 supporters back
(No quantity limit)

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