Taiwan readies for space research control center

The AMS-02 project’s Asian monitoring center, located in northern Taiwan’s Taoyuan County, will go into operation July 3.

A ground control center for a particle physics detector on the International Space Station is set to open in Taiwan July 3, according to the Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology.

The detector, known as the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-02, was constructed to search outer space for dark matter and antimatter so as to shed light on the origins of the universe.

It has been transmitting data back to Earth since May 2011, when it was transported by the U.S. space shuttle Endeavor and installed on the International Space Station.

Hundreds of scientists from dozens of research organizations in 16 countries have participated in the project, headed by Nobel laureate Samuel Chao-chung Ting, who is also an academician at Taiwan’s top research institute, Academia Sinica.

CSIST was responsible for heading the development of the detector’s electronics systems, which control electrical circuits, the power source, ground transmission and data processing.

“Because of the AMS-02 project’s success to date, with data being collected smoothly without any hitches, a project manager from the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration visited Taiwan and proposed setting up a ground control center here,” said CSIST project director Jing Qi-hao.

The ground control center, located at the institute’s Lungyuan Research Park in Lungtan, Taoyuan County, will be the project’s second, supporting the headquarters at the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva.

Taiwan Today