ArkEdge Space successfully launched its second nano-satellite, OPTIMAL-1
ArkEdge Space Inc. (Headquarters: Koto-ku, Tokyo; CEO: Takayoshi Fukuyo), a company that promotes low earth orbit constellations and deep space exploration using nano-satellites, today announced the successful launch of its second nano-satellite, OPTIMAL-1.
OPTIMAL-1 was launched at 4:20 a.m. today (Japan Standard Time) from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida by a Dragon spacecraft aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. This launch was the Dragon spacecraft's 26th Commercial Resupply Service (CRS-26) mission to the International Space Station (ISS), and it docked with the ISS at approximately 9:40 p.m. on the same day. OPTIMAL-1 was also transported to the ISS by the Dragon spacecraft.
OPTIMAL-1 mission patch
OPTIMAL-1 is scheduled to be unloaded from the airlock of the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" on the ISS in January 2023, and will be released into space using the JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD).
After the release, the satellite will undergo an initial operation for about one month, followed by various demonstrations of its nano-propulsion system, communication devices, and on-orbit advanced information processing technology. Details will be announced on our website.
We have been working on the development of the nano-satellite OPTIMAL-1 under the theme of "Demonstration project of nano-propulsion system, communication device, and on-orbit advanced information processing technology by TRICOM satellite", which was selected for the subsidy for the industrial technology practical application development project (R&D project for space industry technology information infrastructure improvement) by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) since 2019.
OPTIMAL-1 will improve and demonstrate the functions of the 3U general-purpose bus, which was demonstrated in orbit in 2018, and the main mission is to demonstrate technologies such as (1) a nano-propulsion system, (2) an onboard deep learning board, (3) a nano-hyperspectral camera, (4) a store-and-forward LoRa communications. It is expected to contribute to forest management, agriculture, disaster prevention, logistics, and communications around the world.
About ArkEdge Space Inc.
ArkEdge Space was founded in 2018 with the aim of commercializing nano-satellite development and utilization technologies developed at the University of Tokyo. Currently, we have established a production system for multiple types of nano-satellites and other types of satellites, in addition to the hardware business including nano-satellites, ground station maintenance, design and manufacturing of related components. Moreover, we are also engaged in a wide range of other businesses including satellite operation services, related software development, education, and consulting.
To date, we have a track record of supplying satellites overseas, including the Rwanda satellite RWASAT-1 to the Rwanda Utility Regulatory Authority (RURA : Rwanda Utility Regulatory Authority). In the future, we will realize the construction of satellite constellations for IoT communications, earth observation, and oceanic VDES, as well as work on the development and demonstration of nano-satellites required for the construction of satellite constellations for lunar activities.