Axelspace, JAXA Sign MOU on Creation of Small Optical Satellite Constellation

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — Axelspace Corporation (Representative Director: Tomoya Nakamura) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Chairman: Hiroshi Yamakawa, JAXA) are JAXA Space Innovation Partnership (J-SPARC). ) (*1), a memorandum of understanding was signed in December 2020 for the solution business using the small optical satellite constellation (*2), and together, “business concept co-creation activities” to create new business value. Through this initiative, we will consider cultivating the use of new satellite-mounted sensors, utilizing satellite data in the future, and linking small satellites and large satellites in observation missions.

Axelspace has added a new thermal infrared sensor (*4) to the ultra-compact optical satellite “GRUS” that builds its own satellite observation network “AxelGlobe” (*3), and is an optical / thermal infrared sensor. We will study the use of satellite data that combines the above and technical studies such as data processing for that purpose. JAXA will provide technical cooperation for the study of satellite data utilization and data processing / calibration, and will study utilization research such as disaster prevention using temperature data from thermal infrared sensors.

In addition, we will create new value through mutual cooperation by fusing small satellite data featuring high-frequency observation and large satellite data featuring high-resolution observation. We will conduct a preliminary study of future public-private partnerships, mainly through the study of applicability to fields such as disaster prevention.

Tomoya Nakamura, CEO of Axelspace Corporation

Tomoya Nakamura

Since its establishment in 2008, Axelspace has built up a track record through the development and operation of a total of five microsatellite under the vision of “Space within Your Reach.” One of them is JAXA’s Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration Program, the first small demonstration satellite (RAPIS-1), which was launched in January 2019, completed the scheduled in-orbit demonstration experiment, and succeeded in June 2020. The satellite operation has been completed. This time, we will further deepen the cooperative relationship with JAXA, link and integrate JAXA’s knowledge, technology, and data of earth observation with the next-generation earth observation platform Axel Globe that we are constructing, and carry out co-creation activities for solving social issues. I am very happy to be able to do it. Through this co-creation activity, we would like to contribute to the creation of new satellite data utilization methods and value, as well as the improvement of Japan’s earth observation technology, in order to build a society in which more people use space as a matter of course. thinking about.

Kako Dateki, General Manager, New Business Promotion Department, JAXA

Kako Dateki

At JAXA, we have accumulated various data through global observations both in Japan and overseas, and have knowledge and experience related to thermal infrared sensors in the Shikisai (GCOM-C) and Daichi (ALOS-2) missions. Has also been cultivated. Through this co-creation activity, JAXA’s knowledge and experience will be utilized to increase the value of Axelspace’s “solution business using small satellites” to maximize R & D results and to study future earth observation missions. I would like to aim to acquire such knowledge.

* 1: JAXA Space Innovation Partnership (J-SPARC)

J-SPARC begins with a dialogue between private businesses aiming for space business and JAXA, and with the commitment of both parties toward commercialization, jointly considers the business concept. This is a program to create new businesses by developing and demonstrating technology that is oriented toward exits and exits. It started in May 2018 and is currently working on about 20 projects. In business concept co-creation, activities such as market research and examination of business concept are carried out, and in business joint demonstration, activities such as joint feasibility study and joint technology development / demonstration before commercialization is carried out.

* 2: Satellite constellation

A system that provides high value through multiple artificial satellites.

* 3: AxelGlobe

This is an earth observation network consisting of dozens of ultra-small optical satellites “GRUS” currently under construction by Axelspace . This makes it possible to observe everywhere on the earth as frequently as once a day. The first unit was launched in December 2018, and data provision began at the end of May of the following year. We plan to launch four additional aircraft in March 2021, and soon we will be able to provide data once every two to three days.

* 4: Observation with a thermal infrared sensor

This is a method of observing by capturing the thermal infrared rays emitted from the surface of the ground surface warmed by the sunlight. You can also observe high temperature areas such as volcanic activity and fires. By examining the intensity of radiation, it is possible to know the surface temperature of the ground and sea, volcanic activity, wildfires, etc.

Thermal infrared remote sensing can observe the surface of the earth even at night if there are no clouds.