Skygate Technologies, a Japanese space startup, has received seed investments from the Keio University-based venture capital firm Keio Innovation Initiative. The company, recently founded in February 2020, develops Ground Station as a Service (GSaaS), using high-speed wireless technology and software radio. The funding will boost the development of the first entirely cloud-based ground station in Japan and the cloud ground station platform “Skygate,” planned to start in 2021.
“Earth observation data business is now experiencing the biggest change since its emergence. The value of observation data is skyrocketing with growing world’s uncertainty,” said Takanori Awatsu, CEO of Skygate Technologies. “‘Skygate’ seamlessly connects space and cloud business areas. We will realize the world where everyone can utilize the truth-on- the-ground for their businesses.”
Approximately 4,500 satellites are flying around the Earth, some of which are used to observe the planet. The market for Earth observation data is developing rapidly and is expected to reach $9 billion globally by 2027. In addition, space and cloud industries are becoming closer every year; in 2018, Amazon.com also announced its entry into this market.
Skygate, the cloud ground station platform, will provide a fast and high- data-rate downlink from satellites to the cloud on the ground. The platform will support high-data-rate communications of more than 2 Gbps and be able to integrate with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and other cloud providers. This will enable satellite operators and their data analyzers to easily transmit, process and make their data more valuable.
The company will provide satellite operators with more affordable and easy-to-use ground stations, making it easier for them to scale their Earth observation data businesses. Its GSaaS platform will realize a world where information is delivered quickly from satellites and available to business in less than 10 minutes.