The GCOM-W (Global Change Observation Mission - Water) or Shizuku satellite aims to construct, use, and verify systems that enable continuous global-scale observations (for 10 to 15 years) of effective geophysical parameters for elucidating global climate change and water circulation mechanisms. Water circulation changes will be observed by a microwave radiometer onboard the GCOM-W (Water) satellite (scheduled to be launched in Japan Fiscal Year 2011). The GCOM-W will observe precipitation, vapor amounts, wind velocity above the ocean, sea water temperatures, water levels on land areas and snow depths. Climate change observation will be performed by a multi-wavelength optical radiometer onboard the GCOM-C (Climate) satellite (under consideration) on clouds, aerosol, seawater color (marine organisms), vegetation, snow and ice. These satellites will enable us to perform comprehensive observations of the surface layer of the Earth such as the atmosphere, including clouds, land, oceans and the cryosphere. The Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) is a sensor to observe radiometers, or microwaves emitted naturally from the ground, sea surface and atmosphere, using 6 different frequency bands ranging from 7 GHz to 89 GHz. The strength of a natural microwave is determined by its characteristics and moisture, including the surface condition and temperature of the material. Although it depends on the frequency, the microwave is very weak. AMSR2 will detect such weak microwaves at an altitude of 700 kilometers and measure the strength of them with a very high accuracy. For example, by measuring the strength of a microwave emitted from the sea surface with the AMSR2, one can understand the water temperature of the sea surface to an accuracy of 0.5 degrees Celsius.
H-IIA (H2A) is an active expendable launch system operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The liquid-fueled H-IIA rockets have been used to launch satellites into geostationary orbit, to launch a lunar orbiting spacecraft, and to launch Akatsuki, which studied the planet Venus. Launches occur at the Tanegashima Space Center.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. is a Japanese multinational engineering, electrical equipment and electronics company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. MHI is one of the core companies of the Mitsubishi Group. MHI's products include aerospace components, air conditioners, aircraft, automotive components, forklift trucks, hydraulic equipment, machine tools, missiles, power generation equipment, printing machines, ships and space launch vehicles. Through its defense-related activities, it is the world's 23rd-largest defense contractor measured by 2011 defense revenues and the largest based in Japan.INFO WIKI