Warpspace has reported that the company’s proposal, “Development of a modem and router to realize a multi-protocol platform for optical communications in space,” has been selected by the National Research and Development Agency New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) for the Japanese “SBIR Program” (one-stop-shop type) for fiscal year 2023.
Conventional communication methods, mainly radio frequencies, have a problem because data in space cannot be transmitted smoothly to the Earth. The company aims to solve this problem by realizing a near-real-time optical communication service in space using smallsats and contributing to disaster prevention and primary industry by increasing the number and speed of satellite data that can be provided on the ground to meet their data needs.
Through this project, Warpspace will develop optical communication modems and routers that are compatible and interoperable in satellite optical communication networks.
Following the Basic Plan for Space Policy approved by the Cabinet in 2020, Japan’s policy is strengthening the comprehensive infrastructure that supports space activities using optical communications. In this context, competition for satellite optical communication networks has begun with a large amount of public and private capital being invested worldwide, with the U.S. leading the way.
The market is demanding the expansion of nexgen space networks such as Beyond 5G or the internet in space, and compatibility and interoperability are required to connect all of these networks across the board.
In this context, Warpspace recognizes the need for spacecraft, such as satellites, to translate and relay each communication network protocol to link independently developed communication networks into a single network. The development of equipment with this function is the initiative adopted this time.
Based on the technology developed through this project, our company aims to become the hub of the entire satellite optical communication network and realize a grand space internet.
The “SBIR Program” in Japan supports the R&D and commercialization of small and medium-sized enterprises and start-up companies working on R&D themes presented by the relevant government agencies, aiming to solve social issues and accelerate Japan’s innovation. With the adoption of this project, the company aims to become a firm that further contributes to society by developing new technologies.
“We are heartened that our proposed optical router/modem project has been selected for the SBIR Program for FY2023. Japan is one of the few countries researching and developing inter-satellite optical communication technology. Industry, government, and academia in Europe and the United States are devoting significant resources to applying this technology to revolutionize data communications worldwide. We believe that our selection for the “SBIR Program” will give us the confidence and strong support to face the global market with technology from Japan. We will do our utmost to develop this technology to realize our vision of the future with optical communications.” — Hiromitsu Azuma, CEO, Warpspace