Arianespace to Launch Japanese Startup’s SAR Demonstrator Satellite in 2020

SAR satellite solutions company, Synspective, has signed a contract with satellite launch services company, Arianespace, for the launch of its first SAR demonstrator satellite. The StriX-α satellite will be launched with a liftoff mass of approximately 150 kg into a Sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) in 2020. This will be the inaugural mission for a Synspective customer spacecraft on an Arianespace vehicle. The launch will take place from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana using a Vega launcher.

Synspective is a Japanese startup company that is working to establish a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite constellation of about 25 satellites to provide geo-spatial information. The company gathers broad and high frequency monitoring data from our own SAR satellite constellation and extracts information using machine learning technology to better enable decision-making and action by companies and governments. The information has multiple benefits such as visualization and prediction of economic activity, monitoring of terrain and structures, and immediate understanding of disaster situations.

Since SAR satellites can constantly and accurately acquire data, compared to optical satellites, the usage of SAR data is spreading among governments of various countries as well as private companies such as finance, insurance and retails. However, obtaining SAR data is difficult because of technological difficulties such as satellite development and data analysis. Synspective with its team of engineers has created the world’s smallest and low-cost SAR satellite which can provide high resolution data even at night and during cloudy/rainy weather

In addition to the launch service contract, Synspective and Arianespace signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement to study a future cooperation. Stéphane Israël, Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace, welcomed Synspective as a new customer, and believes it will enhance their relationship with Japan and once again prove the relevance of their launch services offering for Earth observation satellites. With Vega in 2020 and through a more global partnership, Arianespace is looking forward to contribute to the deployment of the Synspective constellation, which puts innovation in space at the service of a better life on Earth.

Arianespace provides launch services for all types of satellites into all orbits. It has orbited more than 600 satellites since 1980, using its family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from launch sites in French Guiana (South America) and Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The company is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a technical facility at the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore. It is a subsidiary of the Ariane Group, which holds 74% of its share capital, with the balance held by 15 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.

Click here to learn more about Synspective.