The joint JAXA/NASA ASTRO-H mission is the sixth in a series of highly successful X-ray missions developed by the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), with a planned launch in 2015. The ASTRO-H mission is equipped with a suite of sensitive instruments with the highest energy resolution ever achieved at E > 3 keV and a wide energy range spanning four decades in energy from soft X-rays to gamma-rays. The simultaneous broad band pass, coupled with the high spectral resolution of ΔE ≤ 7 eV of the micro-calorimeter, will enable a wide variety of important science themes to be pursued. ASTRO-H is expected to provide breakthrough results in scientific areas as diverse as the large-scale structure of the Universe and its evolution, the behavior of matter in the gravitational strong field regime, the physical conditions in sites of cosmic-ray acceleration, and the distribution of dark matter in galaxy clusters at different redshifts.
Turbo codes, a partial turbo method and a serial turbo method, were experimentally applied to a Domain Wall Displacement Detection (DWDD) disk using a red laser. An effective bit length of 68nm recording was achieved by a partial turbo method with a parity bit rate of 1/17 at a bit error rate (bER) of 4x10-5 using a maximum a-posteriori probability (MAP) decoder, although a bit length of 80nm was the limit of the conventional partial response maximum-likelihood (PRML) method. It is presumable that the limit of the turbo decoding method for a DWDD disk depends on the number of consecutive 2-bit errors that occur with the disappearance of the 2T pattern. A max-log-MAP algorithm was introduced, instead of the usual MAP algorithm, to implement turbo codes in hardware, and an effective bit length of 69nm was achieved at a bER of 4x10-5.