NTT and SKY Perfect JSAT to build Space Integrated Computing Network for Beyond 5G / 6G

The space integrated computing network is a novel infrastructure to be built by combining NTT's network/computing infrastructure and SKY Perfect JSAT's space assets/business. It integrates multiple orbits from the ground to HAPS floating at high altitude, Low Earth Orbits and Geostationary Orbits. In addition, they are connected to the ground by an optical wireless communication networks to form a constellation, and distributed computing enhances various data processing. It also provides access to terrestrial mobile devices for ultra-wide service coverage.

A press release by NTT and SKY Perfect JSAT said

There is a pressing need to ensure the sustainability of economic and social activity, which makes it more important than ever to utilize outer space effectively and to the greatest extent possible. This involves ICT infrastructures for a variety of fields, such as energy, environment and climate change, disaster prevention, and smart cities. Novel technologies and architectures are needed to build these ICT infrastructures in outer space.

NTT and SKY Perfect JSAT have proceeded with studies and discussions toward the realization of an ICT infrastructures in outer space, and have reached the conclusion of this business alliance agreement.

NTT, which has global terrestrial infrastructures and is dedicated to making the IOWN concept a reality, and SKY Perfect JSAT, which has abundant technology and achievements in the space business including satellite communication and satellite broadcasting for more than 30 years, will together take on the challenge of building a novel space integrated computing network to create the infrastructure needed for a sustainable society.

The activities envisaged in this business collaboration and currently planned project examples are shown below.

  1. Space sensing project: terrestrial and space sensing data integration platform
    In addition to observation data captured by conventional observation satellites, we will establish an integrated space and earth sensing platform that uses the world's first low earth orbit satellite MIMO technology to collect data from IoT terminals installed around the earth and provide a service using this platform. Furthermore, we will develop a new sensing technology that uses terahertz radio waves to visualize information that would ordinarily be invisible, thereby enhancing the value of space data and expanding its potential use.

  2. Space data center project: high-capacity communication/computing platform
    Using photonics-electronics convergence technology which enables reducing power consumption and high cosmic ray resistance of computing resource, we will establish a computing processing platform in outer space and launch a service using this platform. In addition, distributed computing using optical communication technology enables a variety of advanced data processing. For example, a huge volume of diverse data collected in outer space will be instantly gathered and analyzed over a high-speed optical communication network, and only essential information will be delivered to users who need that information. This will dramatically enhance both real-time usage of space data and user convenience.

  3. Space RAN (Radio Access Network) project: communication platform in Beyond5G/6G
    Using a satellite (Low Earth Orbit) and HAPS expected to be used for Beyond5G/6G, we will establish a mobile communication platform and use it to launch an access service of network. This will further enhance the convenience and value of mobile communication. For example, a high-reliability messaging service can be provided, and ultra-wide-area service coverage can be achieved.

We will conduct technical demonstrations beginning in 2022 to develop technologies that will lay the foundation for these projects. In parallel, we will prepare for the launch of commercial satellites, which will be planned to start its commercial services from around 2025.

We aim to create businesses that spearhead space development both in Japan and worldwide by collaborating with global space and satellite operators and co-creating innovations.

You can learn more about IOWN - Innovative Optical and Wireless Network here.

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