ArkEdge Space successfully injected the nano-satellite "OPTIMAL-1" into orbit from the International Space Station

ArkEdge Space Inc. (Headquarters: Koto-ku, Tokyo; CEO: Takayoshi Fukuyo), a company that promotes a wide range of missions from low earth orbit constellations to deep space exploration using nano-satellites, today announced that its second nano-satellite, "OPTIMAL-1” was released from the International Space Station and injected into orbit.


Release of OPTIMAL-1 from the ISS ©︎JAXA/NASA

OPTIMAL-1 was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on November 27, 2022, and transported to the International Space Station by SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft. On January 6, 2023, the satellite was unloaded from the airlock of the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" on the ISS, and successfully released into space and injected into orbit using the JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD).

During the series of operations after the release, we confirmed that each bus equipment such as the communication equipment, attitude control unit, and batteries were working properly. After about a month of initial operations, we plan to conduct various verification tests of the ultra-small propulsion system, communication equipment, and on-orbit advanced information processing technology. Details will be reported on our website.


First image taken by OPTIMAL-1's verification color camera 32 minutes after release. (This is not the image taken by the ultra-compact hyperspectral camera to be demonstrated in the future.) ©︎ University of Fukui/ArkEdge Space


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 the microsatellite development technology and utilization technology cultivated at the University of Tokyo. Currently, we have built a production system for multiple types of satellites centered on microsatellites. In addition to the hardware business such as building microsatellites, ground station maintenance, and design and production of related parts, we also provide satellite operation services. We are developing a wide range of businesses such as provisioning, related software development, education and consulting.

So far, we have a track record of supplying satellites overseas, such as providing the Rwandan satellite "RWASAT-1" to the Rwandan Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA). In addition, since last fiscal year, we have been selected as one of the consignees of JAXA's "Investigation on 'positioning and communication technology development for lunar activities'". We are proceeding with the technical review.

In the future, we will realize the construction of artificial satellite constellations that support “IoT” communication, earth observation, ocean VDES, etc. We expect to contribute to a wide range of missions such as satellite constellation construction for lunar activities and deep space exploration. We will work on the development and demonstration of satellites.