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#SpaceWatchGL Coproduction: Unlocking the Power of Satellite Data with the Optical Network: A WARPSPACE Solution

by Yvette Gonzalez, SpaceWatch.Global

Credits: Warpspace

Berlin, April 2021.   Space and satellite technologies are evolving faster than we can grasp their myriad of applications and range of uses.  The industry is certainly encouraging start-up services from all corners of the world to leverage these assets in increasingly beneficial and efficient ways.  Japan hails one of the fastest-growing space technology startups, WARPSPACE, who is working to do just that: ‘up’ the inter-satellite communication game.

Founded in 2016, WARPSPACE is a company building the world’s first commercial inter-satellite optical telecommunication infrastructure service using small satellites for low earth orbit (LEO) satellite operators.  The ultimate goal is to establish itself as a top telecommunication carrier in outer space and contribute to the expansion of the space economy on Earth. The aim is to build the world’s first commercial inter-satellite optical telecommunication network sustainably and for prosperity.  As a first step towards this vision, WARPSPACE is developing a data relay system dubbed, “WarpHub InterSat”.

Fundraising

WARPSPACE has announced that it has raised 400M JPY (about $3.6M US) from SPARX Innovation for Future Co.,Ltd., KSK Angel Fund LLC led by Keisuke Honda, and SMBC Venture Capital Co., Ltd. for the 1st close of a Series A round and the 2nd close is scheduled in May.

Said fund is used to accelerate the development of the communication service, “WarpHub InterSat”, towards the end of 2022 and recruit more talented people from all over the world.

“I believe two possibilities that WarpHub InterSat has. One is solving the issues such as poverty and environmental problems, the other is pioneering the new era of the space industry. In the past, people who realize the dreams never stop even if there is the slightest possibility.”, Keisuke Honda said.

What is WarphHub InterSat?

The image of WarpHub InterSat, consists of three small relay satellites; Credits: Warpspace

WarpHub Instersat is enabling LEO satellite missions that by 2023 will connect with the ground to downlink and uplink data as needed from any given location on Earth at any time on any day.

Providing the technology of ultra-small satellites developed at the cost of one-thousandth of larger satellites, coupled with the infrastructure critical for satellite operations, WARPSPACE plans to solve the bottleneck of telecommunication via an optical link, accelerating the development of the space industry.

Accelerating The Remote Sensing Industry

The need for remote sensing data captured by LEO satellite (600 ~ 1,000 km) is expanding quickly. The scale of WARPSPACE’s main earth observation (EO) market was valued at over €20 billion in 2020, with an annual growth rate of 15%.  Major consumers of this type of satellite data have included the financial, distributions, and logistics sectors. With the trending upsurge in their usage of EO data, this market will continue expanding in the coming years.

Despite the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in, reports indicate that the highest amount of investment in the space sector has hit a record in 2020.  Clear evidence that the growth of the space industry will seemingly continue for the coming decades.

On the other hand, WARPSPACE recognizes that the existing telecommunication infrastructure to downlink satellite data to the ground cannot scale to accommodate this increasing traffic and demand.  The WarpHub InterSat communication service will overcome this bottleneck. This service will enable LEO satellite operators to downlink observation data anytime they want, making WARPSPACE a necessary leader in communication solutions. As Executive Director of Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, Said Takayuki Shimizu, stated,

“… we hope WARPSPACE will take a leap forward becoming a competitive global enterprise. It’s time for them to move on to the next step”.[1]

 Expanding the Team and Talent

Credits: Warpspace

With the democratization of the space industry, a variety of human resources and skills are necessary globally. WARPSACE is now seeking engineers to join their ranks in Tsukuba-city, Japan.  Potential locations could also include assignments where suppliers are located.

Currently, WARPSPACE is backed by a variety of advisers, such as Ex-CEO of Sony, Ex-Director of JAXA, and a professional researcher in optic communication field at the University of Tokai. He’s been working on the study about optical communication with moving target, and between ground and space, not just theory, but conducting the experiment to substantiate. He is one of the members of the project which succeeded in the World’s First Demonstration of inter-satellite optical communication in outer space.

Now, it is time to strengthen the base of the pyramid and build up with your knowledge and experiences to realize the ambitious goal.

WARPSPACE is seeking colleagues who can respect differences while sharing the common value, culture, and vision of the company. On that premise, well-experienced engineers in the following positions are being sought:

  • Satellite System Engineer: We are seeking a Satellite System Engineering for the development of relay satellites for MEO. Candidates would have management experiences as a Satellite System Engineer for entire projects in collaboration with other functions, experience from making concept design to assigning required tasks to the members in detail, and have the expertise and required knowledge to develop satellites.
  • Ground System Engineer: We are seeking Ground System Engineers to engineer and develop the WarpHub InterSat project. Applicants are expected to have management experience as a Ground System Engineer for an entire project in collaboration with other functions, experience from making concept design to assigning required tasks to the members in detail, and have the expertise and required knowledge to operate the ground system engineers.
  • Application Engineer: This role will Interface application development between the WarpHub InterSat system and user satellites. Candidates must have management experience for entire projects in collaboration with other functions and experience from making concept design to assigning required tasks to the members in detail.
  • Embedded Engineer: Embedded Engineers will develop the internal system related to the mission. Candidates must have experience in both management of entire projects and coding in collaboration with other functions, making concept design to assigning required tasks to the members in detail, and have expertise and required knowledge to operate the ground system.

Chief Technical Officer Message

Credits: Warpspace

“All members in our team are humble, passionate, but the capacity is far from the ideal team in order to realize our vision and thus we would like well-experienced, engineers to join us to strengthen the team. What really matters when we try something new is reasonable decision-making based on reliable evidence. In this sense, the experience you have – both success and failure –  are meaningful ones which shall lead our challenging development to our goals.

We believe that only the diversity created by different backgrounds, knowledge, and experiences shall take us to the right place. Since we are developing the system from scratch, all we need is knowledge, experience, and everlasting passion.

Let’s take one step forward to the galaxy with wit and generosity together.”

Culture is Everything

Beyond these inter-satellite technology services, the WARPSPACE team endeavors to contribute to the sustainable prosperity and maturity of human activities on Earth.  Theirs is an active culture of pursuing and creating the future we hope for.  The era when space was a ‘place we yearned for’ is in our rearview mirror, and what we have now is the opportunity to reach out to the stars.

In their efforts to keep space sustainable for our planet and humankind, the WARPSPACE team regards harmony as one of the most important concepts. WarpHub InterSat represents this harmony.

The WARPSPACE ‘Compass of Behavior’ for an engineer

A productive and positive work environment can differentiate a loyal, lasting team from a band of individuals.  On this team, people come first, and they are guided by principles or the WARPSPACE ‘Compass of Behavior’.  This Compass has inspired a specific set of norms for their Engineer team, called the “Engineer’s Compass of Behavior”.

The Engineer’s Compass of Behavior at WARPSPACE is critical to remaining relevant and enabling innovation. It includes the following principles:

  1. Leap: Bold ideas, precise engineering. The more thoughts, the greater you leap.
  2. Goal-oriented: Optimize your processes for Goal.
  3. Decide with fact: Engineering on the premise that we know nothing yet.
  4. Chase one chance: Technology × Fortitude = ∞
  5. Resilient spirit: Conquering adversity is the soul of engineering.
  6. Respect your crew: Diversity in our experience and skill MAKES us tough.
  7. Love family: Are you living a human life before as an engineer?
  8. Adventure: It is a chance to dive in indeed if you find an unexplored field of technology.
  9. Be attractive: Polish your skills, share them with fellows.
Credits: Warpspace

Inspired? Apply today!

All interested candidates can contact [email protected] with a detailed CV and expression of interest for applying.

To learn more about WARPSACE Inc, please visit their website by clicking here.

You can follow them on Twitter, Facebook , or LinkedIn.

[1] WARPSPACE Press Release. Japanese SpaceTech Startup Has Raised $3M in Total. ~ Accelerate the Development of Optical Data Relay Network Service ~. July 30, 2020. https://warpspace.jp/news/detail?id=119

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