JAXA selects consortium to study development of navigation and communication technologies for lunar surface activities, Business News

TOKYO, February 15, 2022 — (JCN Newswire) — ArkEdge Space Inc. has been awarded a contract by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to study the development of navigation and communication technologies for surface activities lunar.

The Government of Japan chose “A study on the development of navigation and communication technologies for lunar surface activities” (Ministry of Education: Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)) as one of the programs strategies to accelerate the research, development and use of space technology (STARDUST program[1]). JAXA was tasked with managing the project and selected ArkEdge Space as the prime contractor.

The study will be conducted by a consortium formed by ArkEdge Space, including ispace, inc., AAI – GNSS Consulting Office, Kiyohara Optics Inc., KDDI Corporation, KDDI Research, Inc., The Graduate School of Engineering – The University of Tokyo, and Mitsubishi Precision Co., Ltd. From mid-January to March 25, 2022, the consortium will work on the proposal for a lunar navigation and communication architecture that should become a lunar exploration infrastructure. This includes the design of a concept of a lunar satellite navigation system and a lunar-earth communication system and its development plan. The study is expected to expand the architecture as well as accelerate the research and development of key technologies that could contribute to the international discussion in the future.

International interest has grown in human space exploration, such as the Artemis program[2]which aims to return humans to the Moon by 2025 and conduct a historic human mission to Mars in the 2030s. Japan is expected to play a key role in designing and developing the navigation and communications architecture as infrastructure.

ArkEdge Space and consortium members[3] actively support Japan to achieve sustainable space exploration on the Moon and beyond, and to establish a lunar economy by accelerating the development and demonstration of technologies through collaboration between industry, academia and government.

[1] An interdepartmental cooperation program led by the Japanese government to select and promote research and development projects for lunar exploration and fundamental satellite technologies.
[2] A U.S.-led international manned spaceflight program that aims to return humans to the Moon by 2025 and conduct a historic human mission to Mars in the 2030s. NASA and JAXA have also finalized an agreement for the NASA Gateway which is an orbiting outpost planned to be built in lunar orbit.
[3] Overview of consortium members:
ArkEdge Space Inc.: Tokyo, Japan; Takayoshi Fukuyo, CEO; https://arkedgespace.com/en
AAI – GNSS Consulting Office: Hyogo, Japan; Osamu Arai, President.
ispace, inc. : Tokyo, Japan; Takeshi Hakamada, Founder and CEO; https://ispace-inc.com
Kiyohara Optics Inc.: Tokyo, Japan; Hirohiko Shinonaga, President; https://www.koptic.co.jp
KDDI Corporation: Tokyo, Japan; Makoto Takahashi, President; https://www.kddi.com/english/
KDDI Research, Inc.: Saitama, Japan; Hajime Nakamura, President and CEO; https://www.kddi-research.jp/english
Mitsubishi Precision Co., Ltd. : Tokyo, Japan; Seiji Fujimoto, President; https://www.mpcnet.co.jp/e/
Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo: Tokyo, Japan; Takao Someya, Dean of the School of Engineering; https://www.tu-tokyo.ac.jp/soee/

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Ruby A. Robillard