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JAXA Selects 15 Innovative Micro Satellite Demonstration Projects

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
May 30, 2020
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TOKYO (JAXA PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has established a basic mission that uses micro satellites as part of the “environmental maintenance for stable supply of core parts of space systems” shown in the Basic Space Plan.

We are advancing the “Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration Program” with the aim of conducting on-orbit verification of parts and new elemental technology in a timely and inexpensive manner.

We would like to inform you that we are soliciting demonstration themes for “Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration Unit 3” and selected the demonstration themes (15 in total) from the 23 themes that we applied for, as shown below.

The selection was made based on the confirmation of applicant qualification requirements and the basic point examination within JAXA, and the additional point examination by the selection evaluation committee consisting of external experts.

  • Basic point examination (from the viewpoint of technical feasibility, conformity with interface conditions, conformity with safety requirements, feasibility of on-orbit operation, feasibility of implementation plan, etc.)
  • Additional examination (viewpoint of significance, value, etc.)

The selected themes include those that will be installed on a small demonstration satellite manufactured by JAXA for verification (parts, components and subsystems), 50kg class micro satellite and CubeSat manufactured by the applicant.

In this open call, in addition to the conventional issues, “a flexible satellite development method that can be used by the public and private sectors, innovative mission technology will be demonstrated in space in a quick cycle, and challenging missions / systems will be installed through government satellites and government-related short-term satellite development, cost reduction and sophistication, and strengthening the competitiveness of the industrial world ” were added, and five were selected.

In the future, we will proceed with preparations for concluding necessary arrangements, technical adjustments, safety reviews, etc. for the launch. The demonstration theme may change depending on the future study status.


In-orbit Demonstration of 920MHz Band IoT Satellite Platform Using Satellite MIMO Technology
Recruitment Task 4

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation
Fumihiro Yamashita

This is the world’s first on-orbit demonstration of low-orbit MIMO communication technology, targeting high-speed communication capacity, and its significance in orbit is extremely high. It can be expected to contribute to the enhancement of international competitiveness and the sophistication of government satellites as well as the technical demonstration of the ultra-wide area satellite IoT platform using the 920MHz band.

Software Receiver Using Flexible
Development Method
Recruitment Task 4

NEC Space Technology Co., Ltd.
Shoji Tsuchiya

In-orbit demonstration of a high-speed software radio that uses consumer parts for the signal processing board makes it possible to change or expand functions in orbit, which will have a great ripple effect on future satellites.  In addition, simulation development can be expected to contribute to the realization of immediate, short-term, low-cost satellite development.

On-orbit Evaluation and Model-based Development of Consumer GPUs
Recruitment Task 4

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
Shinya Hirakuri

Applying model-based development to software development in an on-orbit demonstration of a consumer-grade GPU capable of ultra-high-speed computation. High-speed on-board information processing and shortening of model-based development are important for future digitization, and can be expected to make a great contribution to various missions of public and private sciences.

In-orbit Demonstration of Ultra-compact Integrated Propulsion System Using Water as Propellant
Recruitment Task 4

Pale Blue Co., Ltd.
Jun Asakawa

It is a demonstration of an ultra-compact propulsion system that uses safe, nontoxic, and easy-to-use water as a propellant. By integrating two types of propulsion systems, a wide variety of propulsion functions are realized, and it has high international competitiveness.  It can be widely applied to ultra-low altitude satellites and deep space exploration devices, and is expected to contribute to shortening the development period and cost reduction.

In-orbit Demonstration and Performance Evaluation of Pulsed Plasma Thruster (PPT) for Small Satellites
Recruitment Task 1

Institute of Advanced Technology
Mitsuteru Sugiki

This is a demonstration of a small-sized electric propulsion device (pulse plasma thruster) capable of low power consumption and low price, and has technical significance in the era of small satellites. In the future, it can be expected to be applied to deep space exploration vehicles and micro satellites.

In-Orbit Demonstration of Membrane Deployable Deorbit Mechanism for Micro Satellite
Recruitment Task 1

Accel Space Co., Ltd.
Tomohiro Kawamura

This is a proposal that captures the current trends in the demonstration of the thin film development mechanism that contributes to the solution of the space debris problem. Compared to propulsion equipment, there are less space restrictions in terms of space volume, mass, and pressure equipment, and mounting restrictions are low, and widespread use in the company’s small satellites, etc., can be expected to expand its use in the market.

Demonstration of Lightweight Membrane Deployment Structure with Power Generation and Antenna Functions for Society 5.0
Recruitment Task 2

Sakase Adtech Co., Ltd.
Ryoji Sakai

It is a membrane deployment demonstration that contributes to high performance of small satellites for high-power generation / large-capacity communication / high-resolution observation, and orbit demonstration is significant. In fields where technological ideas are ahead of other countries, new innovations can be expected with the solar cell paddles and membrane antennas developed by this demonstration.

In-Orbit Demonstration of Satellite Bus System for Realization of Micro-ISS for Micro Satellite
Recruitment Task 2

Teikyo University
Masaaki Kawamura

In-orbit demonstration of a bus system that enables experiments using the space environment within a micro satellite will enable low-cost space experiments, and will be able to evaluate the new concept of post-ISS. In addition, new innovations can be expected from various uses both domestically and internationally.

Development of a Microsatellite System that Integrates Science and Engineering and X-ray Observation of Gravitational Wave Celestial Bodies
Recruitment Task 3

Kanazawa University
Satoshi Yagiya

With the development of satellites for observing X-ray and gamma-ray sudden celestial bodies, we can expect that micro-satellite will contribute to the field of space science research. In addition, we are aiming for international cooperation and development into an independent center on campus, and we can expect continuous human resource development.

Demonstration of Multi-spectral Ocean Observation Technology by Ultra-low Cost High-accuracy Attitude Control Bus
Recruitment Task 3

Tokyo Institute of Technology
Yoichi Yatsu

We are constructing a system in anticipation of data utilization services by demonstrating the earth and ocean observation technology that combines high-accuracy attitude control and a multispectral camera, and it is highly meaningful to demonstrate from upstream to exit. Proposals with a view to new businesses can be expected to stimulate the satellite-related industry in the future.

Constellation Formation of Microsatellite Using Rotation Separation
Recruitment Task 2

Nagoya University
Takaya Inamori

With the demonstration of the constellation formation method of the new principle of rotating and separating the connected micro satellites to form a formation, Europe and the United States are positioned as important technologies, and Japan is also a basic technology that should be focused. Expected to be used in a wide range of applications.

In-orbit Demonstration Aimed at Expanding Space Utilization of Consumer Semiconductors and General-Purpose Equipment
Recruitment Task 2

Kyushu Institute of Technology
Masui Hirokazu

By observing the on-orbit deterioration of terrestrial semiconductors and demonstrating the space conversion of USB devices and expanding the availability of general-purpose terrestrial devices, there is a possibility that the hurdles for satellite development will be pushed down at once. It is expected that the value of the consumer parts database will increase and the number of users will increase.

Technical Demonstration of a Marine Observation Data Collection Satellite Equipped with a Directional Antenna with Ultra-high Precision Attitude Control, Sustainable Space Engineering Training, and Demonstration of a Network-type Satellite Development Scheme
Recruitment Task 3

Yonago National College of Technology
Masahiro Tokumitsu

With the technical demonstration of inexpensive and efficient seafloor crustal deformation observation data collection using the LoRa communication system, it is expected that the use of satellite IoT will be expanded in the future. In addition, it has significance as a human resource development for an educational institution called a technical college, and it can be expected to continue to develop human resources for space engineering and IoT communication technology in the future.

Demonstration of Integrated Molding Technology
for Satellite Housing
Recruitment Task 4

Waseda University
Tomoyuki Miyashita

By demonstrating a screw-free satellite housing that uses a metal 3D printer frame, the weight of the satellite structure can be reduced. It is expected to contribute to the next-generation satellite design by supporting the structural densification that accompanies the advanced functions of micro-satellite.

Technical Demonstration
of Multi-spectral Camera for CubeSat
Recruitment Task 1

Institute for Future Science
Satoshi Satori

It is a demonstration of a low-cost and compact multi-spectral camera that can be mounted on the CubeSat, and the significance of on-orbit demonstration is high for optical observation and component development.


Recruitment Task 1
Demonstration of technology that dramatically improves price competitiveness, performance, and functions of Japanese satellite-related equipment and parts

Recruitment Task 2
Demonstration of technologies and concepts that are expected to expand space utilization and create new innovations

Recruitment Task 3
Demonstrate technologies and concepts that will newly create domestic and overseas space utilization markets with the new space utilization business concept

Recruitment Task 4
Demonstration of flexible satellite development methods and innovative mission / system technology to achieve short-term development, cost reduction, and sophistication of government satellites and government-related satellites through the installation of challenging missions / systems

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