Tokyo, Japan - June 5, 2020
Yokogawa Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6841) announces that a Yokogawa CSU-W1 confocal scanner unit has arrived at the International Space Station (ISS). This CSU-W1 is a core component of Chiyoda Corporation's COSMIC confocal microscope system, which will be installed in "KIBO," the ISS's Japanese Experiment Module, and is expected to start being used in life science experiments this fall. The system was transported to the ISS by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) "KOUNOTORI" H-II transfer vehicle, which arrived at the ISS on May 26.
The ISS orbits the Earth at an altitude of 400 km, and is the largest space station to be built to date. With its micro-g (near zero gravity) environment, exposure to cosmic radiation, and location in the near airless environment of outer space, the ISS is an ideal platform for the observation of the Earth and the cosmos and the conduct of experiments that are advancing scientific knowledge and developing new technologies that can improve people's lives and contribute to industry back on Earth. KIBO is Japan's first manned space test facility, and is the largest experimental module on the ISS. COSMIC enables advanced live cell imaging in an actual micro-g environment, which is not possible on the Earth. This is expected to help develop basic life science and medical treatment using cells.
When combined with a microscope, the CSU-W1 enables real-time observation of the movement of proteins and physiological responses within living cells. It is used all over the world in fields such as biology, medicine, pharmacology, agriculture, and drug discovery to perform cellular research. Over 3,000 CSU series devices have been sold to date, and they have become indispensable tools in the life science field. In preparation for the planned commencement this fall of life science experiments aboard the KIBO module, Yokogawa worked with Chiyoda Corporation and JAXA to assist from the planning phase in development of the COSMIC system. The system will be used in research involving the 3D biofabrication of human organs in a micro-g environment.
Hiroshi Nakao, a Yokogawa vice president and head of the company's Life Innovation Business Headquarters, commented as follows on this undertaking: "We are proud to have been able to cooperate with Chiyoda Corporation in the development of the COSMIC system for JAXA, operators of the KIBO module. In keeping with its announcement of sustainability targets (the "Three goals") for the year 2050, Yokogawa is working to promote well-being. Encouraged by the use of the CSU-W1 for life science experiments in space that will produce benefits in a wide variety of applications, we will continue working to create value with our customers and contribute to the development of the life science field.
CSU-W1 confocal scanner unit
COSMIC confocal microscope system ©JAXA
"KIBO," the ISS's Japanese Experiment Module ©JAXA/NASA
Founded in 1915, Yokogawa engages in broad-ranging activities in the areas of measurement, control, and information. The industrial automation business provides vital products, services, and solutions to a diverse range of process industries including oil, chemicals, natural gas, power, iron and steel, and pulp and paper. With the life innovation business, the company aims to radically improve productivity across the pharmaceutical and food industry value chains. The test & measurement, aviation, and other businesses continue to provide essential instruments and equipment with industry-leading precision and reliability. Yokogawa co-innovates with its customers through a global network of 114 companies spanning 62 countries, generating US$3.7 billion in sales in FY2019. For more information, please visit www.yokogawa.com.
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