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Future Approach for Developing Small Satellites and Small Rockets

Release of report compiled by the Study Group for Development of Technology Strategies for Small Satellites and Small Rockets Expecting the Arrival of the Era of Constellation Business

June 1, 2018

In December 2017, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) established a Study Group for Development of Technology Strategies for Small Satellites and Small Rockets Expecting the Arrival of the Era of Constellation Business to hold discussions on challenges faced by Japan in business involving small satellites and small rockets, an industry expected to expand in the near future, and Japan’s efforts required to solve such challenges. Since the establishment, the study group held 7 meetings for these purposes. METI hereby announces that the study group compiled the discussion results into a report.

Purpose

As the quality and quantity of data sent from satellites has been dramatically improving in recent years, combination of satellite data and a variety of terrestrial data and analysis of such combinations making use of AI and other cutting-edge technologies are expected to create new services and value going beyond conventional ones.

One of the promotional factors driving these new solutions to emerge lies in the higher performance and lower cost of small satellites through technological innovations. Against this backdrop, companies worldwide have been embarking on advancement of constellation business in which a large number of small satellites are launched and integrally operated, and this trend has been rapidly propelling the growth of new business models worldwide, which permits companies to provide new added value going beyond conventional ones, such as services for more frequent satellite observations. Moreover, related industries have been accelerating efforts to develop infrastructures that bolster the data businesses mentioned above including the mass production of small satellites and small rockets.

In light of this global trend, in December 2017, METI established a Study Group for Development of Technology Strategies for Small Satellites and Small Rockets Expecting the Arrival of the Era of Constellation Business consisting of experts as members. The study group aims at identifying challenges faced by Japan in business involving small satellites and small rockets, an industry expected to support future data business, and holding discussions on future directions of Japan’s efforts required to solve such challenges, which are keys to enhancing the global competitiveness of the industry. Since its establishment, the study group has held discussions for these purposes. METI hereby announces that the study group compiled the discussion results into a report.

Based on the report, METI will strive to make maximized efforts to realize specific measures.

Appendix

Division in Charge

Space Industry Office, Manufacturing Industries Bureau, METI

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