IBARAKI, Japan (WARPSPACE PR) — WARPSPACE Co., Ltd. (Hereinafter “WARPSPACE,” Director CEO: Satoru Tsunemachi), a spin-out space startup from the University of Tsukuba, an optical inter-satellite communication service provider, announced that it has been selected to conduct a study on space communication for the lunar exploration by JAXA, which could be a part of the Artemis plan.
WARPSPACE develops “WarpHub InterSat,” the optical inter-satellite data relay communication service for the earth observation satellite operators. The three optical data relay satellites will be launched in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) to cover the whole Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Through this network, earth observation satellites can downlink their data at a high data rate in near real-time 24/7.
Today, numerous national organizations and private companies including startups work on lunar exploration across the globe centering on the Artemis plan. In Japan, JAXA leads lunar-related activities in collaboration with private companies. Together with other companies, WARPSPACE will cooperate with JAXA in the development of the optical cislunar communication system to support the lunar development activities in Japan and beyond.
WARPSPACE aims to launch the optical communication service in the 2030s and the service which covers beyond the moon such as Mars in 2035 or later.
Comment from CEO Satoru Tsunemachi
This is a very big step for WARPSPACE to be selected for the JAXA R&D project, one of the world’s top-ranked space agencies. The cislunar space will be included in the active sphere of humankind in the following decade as a new frontier. Communication technology is one of the most important infrastructures both on the earth and in space. Through the realization and expansion of the optical inter-satellite communication networks, we will contribute to the expansion of safe and peaceful utilization of outer space through public-private, and international cooperation.
WARPSPACE was established in 2016 and has launched three communication satellites including the one made in the predecessor university project. The mission is to lead the frontier era of space telecommunication. Currently, WARPSPACE develops an optical inter-satellite data relay network, “WarpHub InterSat,” to leverage the utilization of earth observation data. WARPSPACE is located in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, and partners with research institutes such as JAXA. It has access to the abundant experimental and test facilities owned by Tsukuba Science City.
About “WarpHub InterSat”
“WarpHub InterSat” will be the world’s first optical inter-satellite communication relay network service consisting of three small satellites. WARPSPACE aims to contribute to realizing a more sustainable global society by building an optical inter-satellite data relay network. While the number of satellites is exponentially increasing in Low Earth Orbit (LEO: 500~800 km), the demand for higher data sampling and downlink has been also increasing. However, the conventional communication infrastructure is not sufficient to meet demand. “WarpHub InterSat” enables the LEO satellites to constantly communicate with the ground stations with a high-speed optical link in near real-time.