Since FY 2016, the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) has been conducting the "Satellite Observation Research Project" as one of research projects which are defined as "research activities which require systematic and programmatic approaches". It includes two satellite projects jointly promoted by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), namely GOSAT (Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite, or Ibuki) and GOSAT-2.
The objectives of the "Satellite Observation Research Project" are
In April 2016, the Satellite Observation Center (SOC) was established in the Center for Global Environmental Research (CGER), NIES, as an organization which is responsible for the "Satellite Observation Research Project".
The organizational structure of SOC as of April 2016 is as follows:
|Group Photo of SOC members（August, 2016）|
|Satellite Observation Center|
|Director Tsuneo Matsunaga|
|Ground Data System Management Team|
|Ground Data System Operation Team|
|Administration and Public Relations Team|
|Public Relations Group|
|Research Announcement and International Affairs Group|
|GOSAT-3 Preparation Team|
|Committee for Future Satellite Missions|