NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) signed a bilateral agreement that enables both space agencies to share non-public alert information. The international partners agreed upon a protocol to share unrestricted NASA Advisories and JAXA Shinraisei Gijutsu Jouhou (or JAXA problem advisories). The protocol specifies that partners should document the mutual interest by the agencies to exchange alert information, establish a basic process to initiate the exchanges and allow the partners to request detailed alert data.
“Through the sharing of information, it gives us the ability to avoid problems that our international partners already know about,” said Bill Loewy, Government-Industry Data Exchange Program manager. “As Benjamin Franklin said, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’”
Since the agreement was signed, NASA has sent three NASA Advisories to JAXA:
- RF [Radio Frequency] Interference in a Sensitive Electronic Hardware Development Environment
- Teledyne Microwave Hybrid Amplifier Group C Failures
- 304 Stainless Steel Prone to Rapid Corrosion Due to Undesirable Microstructure Permitted by Material Specification
According to Loewy, the NASA Advisories have already been beneficial to JAXA, as the Japanese space agency uses many of the same products as NASA. The advisory on the Teledyne microwave hybrid amplifier, for example, was helpful because JAXA uses the same component and type of epoxy for assembling the component as discussed in the advisory.
“If you aren’t aware that there is a problem with the adhesive, you could put the board together, put it in assembly and you would never know there was a problem until it started failing” said Loewy.
JAXA has sent three advisories to NASA as well. Because many of the electronic parts NASA uses are made in Asia, Loewy said JAXA is in a better position to catch problems with parts early on and help NASA avoid them.
“I think the agreement builds good will,” said Loewy. “It builds a sense of teamwork and it’s just, overall, what partners do.”
After JAXA sends its advisories to NASA, the information is entered into the NASA Advisory Reporting System and is distributed the same way as NASA Advisories. To learn more about the NASA Alert Sharing Agreement, contact Loewy.