Synspective and Seiren Co., Ltd sign MOU to collaborate on the development of a mass production process for SAR satellite antennas
Tokyo, Japan – September 28, 2021- Synspective Inc. and Seiren Co., Ltd have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate on the development of a mass production process for small SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite(*1) antennas to create and expand the space industry in Japan.
Synspective Inc. (hereinafter referred to as Synspective) develops and operates satellites, and also provides satellite data solutions. Synspective’s small SAR satellite is in the 100kg class. Although it weighs about 1/10 of a conventional large SAR satellite, it maintains the same performance as large SAR satellites. It is possible to manufacture several satellites at low cost by making them compact and lightweight. We aim to build a constellation of 30 satellites (*2) by the late 2020s, which includes 1 satellite currently in orbit. To realize this, we believe it is necessary to develop a mass production process to manufacture high-quality, low-cost satellites which meet short-term, evolving business demands.
Seiren Co, Ltd (hereinafter referred to as Seiren) was founded in 1889. Seiren is a comprehensive textile manufacturer with an integrated production system from manufacturing to weaving, processing, and sewing. With accumulated textile technology at the core of its business, Seiren is developing a variety of high value-added corporate activities across five business areas: automotive upholstery, sports/fashion, electronics, environment/life, and medical materials. In recent years, they have been advancing into the space industry with the development and manufacturing of microsatellites.
Signing the memorandum, Synspective and Seiren will share in their aims to “create and expand Japan’s space industry.” We will use each other’s strengths and collaborate on the mass production process to assemble several antennas for small SAR satellites.
*1：SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar): Since microwaves can capture the shape of the ground surface and buildings, SAR satellites can achieve stable observations independent of time of day/night or weather conditions.
*2: Satellite constellation: A state in which a large number of satellites are linked and working together*
■Areas of potential collaboration
(1) In the short term, we will assemble several antennas for small SAR satellites, an important technology of Synspective. In the long term, we will proceed with the possibility of manufacturing Synspective’s small SAR satellites.
(2) The development of a mass production process for small SAR satellite antennas will be done primarily within Fukui Prefecture, where Seiren Co., Ltd. is located, using public development test facilities.
■ Comment from Toshihiro Obata, General Manager, Satellite System Development Department, Synspective Inc.
“We are very pleased to be able to collaborate with Seiren on the development of a mass production process for small SAR satellite antennas. Seiren possesses an abundant wealth of know-how and a disposition to tackle business challenges. Synspective has already begun operating the first satellite and providing solution services, and is about to enter a business expansion phase. This new cooperative relationship in Fukui Prefecture will be a precursor to the development of our mass production structure. We will continue to steadily achieve results with the aim of increasing global efficiency and resilience.”
■ Comment from Hideyuki Yamada, Director, Managing Executive Officer and Director of R&D Center, Seiren Co., Ltd.
“We are very pleased to be able to collaborate with Synspective, which has a small SAR satellite with technological competitiveness, on the development of a mass production process for SAR antennas, which is key to realizing the satellite constellation plan. For us, constant change is the driving force of our growth, and expansion into the space industry embodies that. In the field of small satellites, technological innovation has been remarkable in recent years and the demand for mass production is increasing. Based on the various technologies we have cultivated thus far, we will develop a mass production process to adapt to the sophistication of satellite specifications and contribute to the growth and expansion of our business.”
■About Synspective Inc.
Synspective provides one-stop solutions using geospatial data from its own SAR satellites, upon its mission to create a progressive world based on real data. The core technology was developed by the ImPACT program led by The Cabinet Office, Government of Japan. Synspective is building a constellation of its own small SAR satellites to provide its data and analytic information to governments and commercial outfits.
Founded: February 22, 2018
Location: 3-10-3 Miyoshi, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Representative: Motoyuki Arai, CEO
■About Seiren Co., Ltd.
Seiren was founded in 1889. Seiren is a comprehensive textile manufacturer with an integrated production system from manufacturing to weaving, processing, and sewing. With accumulated textile technology at the core of its business, Seiren is developing a variety of high value-added corporate activities across five business areas: automotive upholstery, sports/fashion, electronics, environment/life, and medical materials. The company aims to become an excellent company for the 21st century by committing to higher added value, improving corporate culture, and fulfilling their corporate social responsibility with “Nobi-nobi” (self-motivation), “iki-iki” (responsibility) and “pichi-pichi” (commitment) as its management philosophy.
Location: 1-10-1 Keya, Fukui City, Fukui Prefecture
Representative: Tatsuo Kawada, Chairman and CEO