(3rd July, Chin-chieh Lin, Taoyuan, Military News Agency) A new milestone for Taiwan’s aerospace technology! The sky-watching station for the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) in Asia was inaugurated in Lung-yuan Research Park of Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology, Armaments Bureau, MND, Taoyuan today. The inauguration proves Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology’s research and development capability in carrying out space scale electronic module and is highly recognized by international aerospace research teams. President Ying-jeou Ma, Minister of MND, Hua-chu Kao, the principal investigator of AMS project, Dr. Chao-chung Samuel Ting, Dr. Yuan-tseh Lee, Associate Administrator of NASA, Mr. William, H. Gerstenmaier jointly attended the opening ceremony and officially launched the sky-watching station which is listed the second one worldwide and the first in Asia. The 24-hr system sky-watching has started that could upload the monitor command from ground station anytime
Due to the outstanding performance in AMS project, Taiwan was honoured to be chosen to set up Asia’s first sky-watching station and earned the approval of NASA. On behalf of NASA, Mr. Gerstenmaier thanked Taiwan’s contribution and said all of this could not be happened without Taiwan’s support and assistance. Taiwan does have the reason to be proud of this monumental achievement.
During Dr. Ting’s delivery speech, he discussed the relationship between basic science research and human living standard. He emphasized that the motivation of such research is originated from human’s curiosity which is also the drive force of technology and industrial development. The research result driven by basic science research could have profound impact on areas such as telecommunication, transportation and medi-care which is helpful in elevating human living standard. In President Ma’s speech, he mentioned that Nobel Winner Dr. Ting, the principal investigator of AMS project, who collaborated other 15 countries’ participation in this project. After 17 years’ various stages of design, research, manufacturing and test, they now completed the alpha magnetic spectrometer for measuring cosmic-ray in the universe. The spectrometer was carried and launched into space by Endeavour space shuttle and installed in international space station successfully last May. It is estimated to proceed with a 25- year project of searching of anti-matter and dark matter for discovering the mystery of the universe’s big bang.
According to President Ma, Taiwan’s research teams are never absent in such a big event of science field. Under the joint efforts and cooperation of seven research units: Academia Sinica, Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology, National Space Organization, National Central University, National Cheng Kung University, National Chiao Tung University, Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation, the AMS project was born and Taiwan becomes one of the main contribution countries of this project among other eight.
President Ma emphasized that AMS project has planned to establish sky-watching stations in Europe, U.S. and Asia to receive cosmic-ray figures and monitor AMS system status. Under Academician, Dr. Ting’s supervision, Taiwan has successfully earned the place of setting up Asia sky-watching station and passed the test on 15th June under the guidance and direction of NASA and AMS project managers. The sky-watching station successfully linked together with other stations in Europe and U.S. Such achievement not only demonstrates Taiwan’s superior research capability but also earns the respect and recognition from worldwide.
According to President Ma, Academia Sinica has dispatched 6 seed experts to JSC (Johnson Space Center) and CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) for receiving on-job training and start the roaster of monitor processing. Moreover, MND has approved 6 alternative service conscripts with master degree in science and technology for the AMS project and are to join the sky-watching station by end of the year. Nevertheless, as the government plans to end conscription, President Ma emphasized the necessity of keep recruiting young ones who are interested in basic science for storing sufficient personnel.
President Ma also mentioned that Academician, Dr. Ting invited him for listening the briefing of AMS project 6 years ago while he was visiting Geneva, Europe. He discussed the progress of AMS project with Academician Ting four years ago and was deeply impressed by its progress. Due to the budget of AMS project was estimated up to one thousand billion U.S. dollars (equivalent to 3 trillion N.T. dollars) which can not be afforded by any single country and would cause the general public’s criticism to its investment efficiency. However, as Academician Ting said, AMS project can pave the foundation for national applied science development in the coming 20 to 30 years which will benefit the next generation and cultivate new generation’s basic science research personnel and hence, create the win-win prospect.
President Ma awarded bonus to principal investigator of AMS electronic system research project , Dr. Shi-kao Ching and visited the operation of AMS ground control center in Asia and encouraged research teams’ efforts and hardworking.