TeraHertZ Remote-SensingTeraHertZ Remote-Sensing

This is a website of the Terahertz Remote Sensing Laboratory, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). We introduce our latest researches as follows.


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Site release



Terahertz remote sensing is a technique to observe the molecules and radicals in the atmosphere using Terahertz wave. Our targets are the Earth, Mars, Jupitar and any other planets.

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Micro Terahertz Explorer to Mars

We are developing TEREX (TERahertz EXplorer), the first micro terahertz explorer to Mars in the world. It will precisely measure the amount of water molecules and oxygen molecules, and search for water resources and about future human activity and the possibility of life on Mars. Our goal is to make a system to send cheap, light, small explorers to Mars on a regular basis.


JUpiter ICy moon Explorer

JUICE (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer) is an Mission to explore the waterrich moons Ganymede, Callisto, and Europa of planet Jupiter. It is one of the largest international solar system exploration programs in history, led by the ESA (European Space Agency), with the participation of US and Japan. It will be launched in 2022, arrive at Jupiter in 2029, and enter Ganymede’s orbit in 2032.We will use SWI (The Submillimeter Wave Instrument) to observe the presence of water on Jupiter satellites. We explore the possibility of human activity and extraterrestrial life in the solar system.


Clean aIr Index

We propose the Clean aIr Index (CII) as a global standard for overall air cleanliness, not just for individual pollutants. Clean air is undoubtedly a valuable resource. Air pollution in cities due to PM2.5 and other pollutants has become a worldwide problem.


Determine the origin of CO2 emissions

Global warming is one of the most serious problems. We are trying to quantitatively identify the source of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions using the satellite remote sensing such as GOSAT. The Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite “IBUKI” (GOSAT) is designed to measure the concentration of major greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide CO2 and methane CH4 from space. It was successfully launched in 2009 and has continued to send data to the Earth as a latter operation after completing its scheduled operation in 2014.


Earth's Atmosphere Observation from ISS

SMILES(The Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder) is an atmospheric observation sensor of unprecedented high sensitivity with superconducting technology, jointly developed by the National Institute of Information and Communication Technology (NICT) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). In the Japanese Experiment Module “KIBO” aboard the International Space Station (ISS), using terahertz waves, we have observed substances such as ozone (O3) and hydrogen chloride (HCl) that are related to ozone layer depletion and air pollution with high precision. It began observation in September 2009, ended in April 2010.

Air Pollution Observation

APOLLO (Air Pollution Observation) is a project to observe pollutants from space. To understand the current state of air pollution in Japan and all over the world, we will observe the atmospheric environment from the ISS (International Space Station). It is designed to identify pollution sources by measuring with high spatial resolution (about 1 km) using terahertz waves.

THz Technology

Our field is not only in space, but also around us. To build a small, light, and inexpensive ultra-high-precision explorer for extremely harsh environment of space, we have honed various technologies to the cutting edge. There are several technologies that have potential for application in our daily lives, such as terahertz-wave high-speed communication.

About Us

This site is operated by the Terahertz Technology Laboratory in the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). NICT is the only public research institute in Japan that specializes in the field of information and communication technology (ICT). NICT has started as a research institute for radio waves and now cover a wide range of areas from materials to system. Our laboratory are conducting basic research and development of technologies to utilize terahertz waves for remote sensing and other applications such as large-capacity communication.


Papers and Awards

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