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Tokyo-Based Start-Up InfoStellar Poised to Transform Communications in Space

Naomi Kurahara, CEO of Japanese New Space start-up InfoStellar. Photograph courtesy of Infostellar.

InfoStellar is an innovative Japanese start-up with a vision: to extend the Internet that we know on Earth into outer space by creating the largest space communications infrastructure in history. This vision is set to be achieved through a unique antenna-sharing platform and also a one-stop small satellite shop that aims to connect customers from all over the world to Japanese manufacturers, universities, and service providers.

At present, satellites that deliver a huge amount of very useful data only pass over a certain location on the Earth for a limited period of around ten minutes, four times a day when the satellite has line-of-sight with a ground antenna. This means that data gathered is quickly outdated. InfoStellar has created the StellarStation platform in order to bring together satellite operators with antenna owners to solve the problem of insufficient satellite access time and unused antenna idle time. The company believes that this will enable much more satellite data to be transferred more frequently as it passes over increasing amounts of ground antenna terminals, thus creating highly relevant and actionable data for users.

Launched in January 2016, InfoStellar sees its target markets as users such as farmers and weather forecasters who require up-to-the-minute, real-time information to enable them to operate more accurately and efficiently.

Ultimately, by solidifying the foundation of communications between the Earth and the Moon, InfoStellar will create a real-time transmission environment between ground stations and satellites that will connect satellites not only to the ground, but also connecting everything in orbit to the Internet.

In terms of its small satellite business model, by bringing together those that seek solutions and expertise from Japanese companies and institutions, even small companies will be able to build and launch their own satellites.

In an interview with Japan Times, Founder and CEO Naomi Kurahara said, “We aim to realize a world where space and satellites are used by even more people and the market becomes much larger. That’s good for many people because it may trigger significant changes to our lives,” she said. “Climate change, food problems. … I believe (satellites) can solve many problems that our society faces today.”

With U.S.$7.3 million in investments at this stage, the future looks bright for this novel, forward-thinking company.

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