First Time in Asia! Breakthroughs in the Satellite Business Seen at “Asia Satellite Business Week” in Singapore
Asia Satellite Business Week(ASBW) was held in Singapore for the first time from June 1 to 3, 2022. This is the Asian version of World Satellite Business Week(WSBW), one of the world’s largest satellite business conference events held annually in Paris.
Will 2022 be the Dawn of the “Optical Inter-Satellite Link Services (OISL)”?
Happy New Year.
WARPSPACE CSO, Hirokazu Mori, who attended the event, looks back on what was said at the event.
Why a Space Business Conference in Asia?
WSBW is a conference event specializing in the satellite business, held annually by Euroconsult, a research and consulting firm specializing in space.
The Asian version of the event, ASBW, was held at Asia Tech x Singapore, an exhibition in Singapore attended by approximately 20,000 people, along with important topics such as AI and 5G.
ASBW is being organized in part because the Asian market is growing along with the overall market for the space industry.
In addition, many countries in Asia are islands that have long used satellites for business-to-consumer communications, which may have encouraged operators to focus on the possibility of further growth in demand for satellite communications.
In fact, many of the attendees were CXOs and VPs from well-established satellite operators, as well as general managers of their Asian offices.
ASBW panel discussions covered a variety of topics, including satellite communications, ground stations, Earth observation, and transportation.
The keynote speaker was a representative of Pfizer’s Asian office, who spoke on the theme of health tech, and the keynote speaker was Akito Tanaka from Nikkei, an expert on IT and startups, who gave a keynote speech.
Obstacles Satellite Operators Encounter
Here are two-panel sessions that I found particularly interesting.
Democratization of satellite data requires quality of solutions
The first was “Revolutionizing Earth Observation: From Data to AI and Analytics” on the second day.
Stephane Chenard, Senior Associate Consultant at Euroconsult, moderated the session. Speakers included CEOs, VPs, and heads of business development from Maxar Technologies, BlackSky, HEAD AEROSPACE, and Satellogic.
One of the topics discussed was the price of satellite data. The pricing of Maxar Technologies and BlackSky, which provide satellite data to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and other government agencies in the U.S., is out of reach for the average user. Moderator Chenard pointed out that for satellite data to become more popular, it is important to increase the number of use cases.
The accuracy of AI analysis is improving, so as the frequency of data acquisition increases and the variety of sensors onboard satellites grows, the number of use cases should increase.
In fact, Satellogic has three sensors on one satellite-multispectral, hyperspectral, and 60-second video capture-and is working hard to reduce latency in providing data.
What Does the Future Look Like Beyond the Democratization of Satellite Data?【Consider
Even we call “Space Development”, there are various purposes, technologies, and missions.
In addition, the satellite constellation being built by HEAD AEROSPACE, headquartered in China, is highly accurate, with a resolution as high as that of Maxar Technologies and BlackSky.
When Oscar Delgado, Director of Business Development at HEAD AEROSPACE, said that by developing better solutions, we can lower the price of their services, other speakers asked when this might be possible.
Small Satellites Changing the Use of Space
Next, I would like to introduce the third day’s panel, “The Smallsat Ecosystem Revolution in Motion.” This panel discussion featured Tomoya Nakamura, CEO of Axelspace, which built Japan’s first commercial Earth observation satellite constellation, as well as six founders and executives from satellite and launch vehicle companies from around the world.
Among the speakers, Astranis and ANYWAVES were the companies of highlight this year.
Astranis is a venture company based in San Francisco. Multi-ton government satellites are launched into geostationary orbit (GEO) for communications, weather, and other applications. However, Astranis aims to launch small satellites weighing only a few hundred kilograms into GEO to provide communications and broadcasting services. The advantage of Astranis’ approach is that the cost of launching small satellites can be significantly reduced, and the time required to develop and manufacture satellites can be shortened and that enables the company to generate revenue quickly.
ANYWAVES is a spinoff of the French National Center for Space Research (CNES), which provides antennas and solutions for spacecraft. In general, satellite operators must coordinate their frequencies internationally, as the frequencies used for satellite-to-ground communications must be coordinated to avoid interference. In recent years, the number of satellites being launched has increased, and there are concerns about the shortage of radio frequency resources to be allocated. ANYWAVES is therefore working to make efficient use of limited frequency resources by developing solutions that allow communication in the same frequency band without interference.
The Potential of Optical Communications as seen from the panel discussions
The two panel discussions highlighted the vulnerability of the communications infrastructure in space. High-speed, high-capacity communications will increase the amount of data that can be acquired by each satellite, thereby reducing the price of data. Furthermore, the data acquired by satellites can be delivered to the ground in real time, expanding the range of applications.
Optical communication, which we WARPSPACE are trying to build, is a technology that is about to be demonstrated.
Once it is launched, it is expected to reduce the size of satellites, reduce power consumption, and improve security. The fact that frequency adjustment is not required is also attractive.
This ASBW was an opportunity for us to realize once again that the spread of optical communications can boost the growth of the satellite business.