[ISC2022] The First Space-Industry-Focused Conference in Turkey. What is the “Space Data Center”?

As space development and space business show excitement, more and more conferences dedicated to the space sector are being held.

The International Space Convention 2022 (ISC2022), a conference event, was held for the first time in Bursa, a city in northwestern Turkey, for three days from September 9.

Although there are not many opportunities for Turkey to be in the news in the space sector, the space business is gradually becoming more and more exciting in recent years, with an increasing number of private companies entering the space industry and establishing space startups.

CSO Hirokazu Mori, who attended ISC as a speaker, reviewed the conference’s highlights.

The Venue is GUHEM, One of the Largest Space Experience Facilities in Turkey

The ISC was held at the GUHEM Gökmen Aerospace Training Center, a hands-on space-themed facility. A model of a Turkish rocket was on display in this facility.

A view of the GUHEM Gökmen Aerospace Training Center

There were about 200–300 visitors. Many Turkish space companies and startups attended.

The Potential of Inter-Satellite Optical Communications

The event consisted mainly of talk sessions, including keynotes and panel discussions. Hirokazu gave a 30-minute keynote speech on “The Potential of Optical Satellite Communications”.

Although general awareness of optical satellite communications is increasing little by little, many people are unaware that conventional satellite communications use radio waves in the first place.

Therefore, in this keynote, he talked about the basics of what optical communications are and explained that the amount of data transmitted from space to the ground has increased significantly due to the emergence of high-resolution optical satellite images and the increase in satellites equipped with hyperspectral sensors and that optical communications, which enable large-volume communications, are attracting attention, and further that optical communication is highly secure and difficult to be intercepted by malicious third parties.

The audience was about 70% of the total number of visitors. During the Q&A session, some technical questions were raised, indicating that this event was well attended by people familiar with the telecommunications field.

Earth Observation Industry Expects “Space Data Center”

The following panel discussion, titled “Satellite Image Processing, Constellations, and Staying Connected,” discussed how to get satellite imagery to customers faster.

Speakers included Keval, CEO of Space Power; Madhav, Vice President of Public Sector at Maxar Technologies; Rajesh, General Manager of Middle East and North Africa at BlackSky; Raphael, Managing Partner Ventures at E2MC; and Hirokazu.

Panel Discussion

During the panel discussion, “Space Data Center” was raised as a topic of future attention. A space data center is like taking the modern terrestrial network architecture to space, with edge satellites processing data acquired by satellites in space, connected by high-speed communications such as optical communications.

Ideas of space data centers have been talked about for some time. They are slowly becoming a reality with the full-scale operation of inter-satellite optical communications, which is about to increase data transfer rates to 100 times those of conventional geostationary orbit relay satellites.

WARPSPACE can provide a high-speed communication pipeline connecting the imaging satellites and the space data center groups.

BlackSky, an American company that operates a constellation of Earth observation satellites, uses relay satellites to downlink data to the ground within 20 to 30 minutes in an emergency after a satellite takes an image if conditions are right. However, BlackSky said it wanted to incorporate inter-satellite optical communications to enable faster data downlink.

Hirokazu looked back, “I was happy to hear directly about the needs for WarpHub InterSat, WARPSPACE’s data relay service using inter-satellite optical communications.”

WARPSPACE established a business development center in Washington D.C. to work more closely with U.S. government agencies and private companies. In Europe, we plan to establish a center focused primarily on technology development.

While leveraging our strength as a start-up company from Japan, we will work to build relationships with key countries in space development.

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WARPSPACE Inc.

We are startup company started as a project in University of Tsukuba, 2011. We will provide the optical telecommunication service with LEO Sat operator by 2023.