What is Required for the Space Industry as Seen Through Dialogue that Cross-Cutting Industries [WARP STATION Conference Vol.1 Summary Report]

“We are now in an era where the opinions given by those who have specialties in fields other than the space industry are valuable. That is why we dared to focus on people who are active in other fields at this conference. I was excited about what kind of discussion I would have until just before, but I was also thrilled. “(Tsunemachi)

This is what the CEO Tsunemachi is always talking about. Warpspace held the conference event “WARP STATION Conference Vol.1” for two days on October 8th and 9th.

The concept is “Diversity & Inclusion”.

Until now, stakeholders in the space industry have been closed within the space industry, but as commercialization progresses, they are expanding into various industries.

I think it will be important for the space industry in the future to have dialogues with the stakeholders in various vectors and start working on them. Diversity & Inclusion was set as the concept with the intention of exploring the possibility that the space industry can contribute to society with a sense of reality by listening to the opinions of potential users.

In this article, CEO Tsunemachi looks back on the message he wanted to convey in each session.

Session 1. Future contribution of the space industry to the sustainability of global society

The panelists for Session 1 are Ms.Yumiko Murakami, general partner of ESG-focused venture capital MPower Partners, Ms.Yuka Tanimoto, editor-in-chief of “Forbes Japan” Web version, and Ms.Rena Okajima, president of ALE. We had a brainstorming discussion on how the space industry can contribute to global sustainability.

At the end of the session, the topic shifted to sustainability from a more microscopic perspective, such as organizational building and team building.

“One of the big messages was that team building that can demonstrate diverse values ​​is important.” (Tsunemachi)

There are still many scenes in Japan where diversity and sustainability are only talked about on the surface. It is required to build a team with diverse values, rather than being bound by simple numerical values ​​such as the gender ratio.

Session 2. Utilization of satellite data to change infrastructure monitors

The panelists in Session 2 are two people who have experience in infrastructure monitoring using satellite data. Tsunemachi looks back on the content of the session.

“When it is difficult for people to look around in the inspection and survey of social infrastructure, if a solution that can observe the earth over a wide area is an option, it was a session that reminded us that the world will become more efficient and sustainable.”(Tsunemachi)

Mr.Toshiki Okada, who is in charge of road maintenance at the Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, has embarked on a leak detection survey using satellite data for the first time in Japan. As a result, it took five years for workers to walk around all areas, but by using satellite data, it was shortened to about two months.

Ms.Juri Ishimoto of Metrics Work Consultants, who is involved in the verification of policy effects and the evaluation of developing country support projects, says that the economic growth rate of developing countries, which are difficult to obtain, is calculated using night light data taken by satellites.

When I asked them about the challenges of using satellite data, they shared the high cost of the images themselves. It is thought that the cost per piece of data will decrease by eliminating the lack of communication opportunities for downloading satellite images to the ground.

Session 3. Utilization of satellite data to appeal to the sustainable market

“In the discussion of how to develop agriculture as a whole, rather than tackling one specific issue of so-called satellite data utilization, it seems realistic that the space industry is one of the technologies. “(Tsunemachi)

The panelists for Session 3 are Mr.Kento Kaneko, a rice farmer, Mr.Hiroki Aizu, an apple farmer, and Ms.Ayano Kido, CEO of sorano me, who provides consulting services for companies seeking to enter the space business.

While the two farmers commented that it is important to improve the solution while collaborating with the satellite data operator, the solution development side said that there is a problem that there are not many agriculture workers who can cooperate in the development. It was a session that gave us a glimpse of the ample room for dialogue across industries.

Session 4. Satellite data x Human Rights

The panelists for Session 4 are Mr. Andrew D’Uva, President of the Providence Access Company, which provides government-related and satellite-related consulting, and Ms. Krystal Azelton, Director of the Secure World Foundation’s Space Utilization Program.

Tracking illegal fishing vessels is one of the typical examples of satellite data utilization, but there are also cases where human rights issues such as illegal labor can be seen.

“There was an insight behind what we see in Earth observation data that may unexpectedly lead to the detection of human rights issues.” (Tsunemachi)

Session 5. Satellite data x cyber security

As it is becoming possible for not only the government but also private companies to shoot and obtain highly versatile data that can be used for security, the capabilities of attackers are improving and measures for space cyber security are urgently needed.

Panelists in Session 5 were Mr. Cartan McLaughlin, CEO of Japan Cyber ​​Defense, Ms. Victoria Samson, Director of the Washington Office of the Secure World Foundation, and Mr. Toshio Nawa, a cyber security expert.

“Although it is the space industry, it was emphasized that firmly protecting the basic vulnerability points is a point that is often overlooked.” (Tsunemachi)

Since the architecture of outer space is naturally connected to the architecture of the ground, security measures for the ground infrastructure are also indispensable. It is not enough to deal with space layer security such as satellite cyber security measures. It has been said that the “person” in charge of operations may actually be the source of the greatest vulnerability.

What we have seen through this conference is that the entire space industry can make a significant contribution to the realization of a sustainable global society.

How can the space industry contribute to end users and to society as a whole? We are at the stage where we have to realize each case one by one while interacting with ideas and discussing with a wide range of industries. Warpspace will continue to work to expand the space industry market pie by engaging in dialogue that transcends industry barriers.

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.