Space BD to Provide Smallsat Deployment Service From ISS to E+CRAFTMAN & Hokkaido University of Science

HOKKAIDO and TOKYO, Japan (Space BD PR) — Space BD Inc., the leading space startup in Japan that provides access to space using the International Space Station (ISS) Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” and rideshares on Japan’s flagship launch vehicle “H3”, announced that it will provide cubesat deployment service from the ISS for HMU-SAT1.

HMU-SAT1 is a nanosatellite developed by Space Development Research Club at the Hokkaido University of Science with support from E+CRAFTMAN Co. Ltd., a leading Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) company based in Sapporo, Hokkaido.

Project overview

Space Development Research Club conducts research on low power communication technology for satellites via smartphones equipped with small antenna and transceiver. This technology allows short message communication of up to about 20 characters, which is suitable during an emergency such as natural disasters. People will be able to send a safety confirmation and rescue request.

With this mission, they will demonstrate the low power communication technology in space using the antenna, nanosatellite, and the ground station that Space Development Research Club developed internally.

Organization Structure for Satellite Development

Prof. Mitsuhashi, who was involved in the development of the first nanosatellite in Hokkaido in 2006, is appointed as an advisor for the Space Development Research Club. Sapporo-based IT company E+CRAFTMAN will also provide support.

Satellite Launch

HMU-SAT1 is a 1U cubesat (10cm cube; 1.3kg) developed using components purchased from home electronics retailers and online stores. Space BD will manage the launch and deployment of HMU-SAT1 from ISS Kibo, which is planned for 2021. Space BD’s engineering team will provide Space Development Research Club with one-stop service from technical integration at each stage of the project and support safety assessment reviews, the launch to the ISS, and the final deployment of the nanosatellite from the Kibo module.

Comment from Masatoku Niiyama, CEO, E+CRAFTMAN

“We, at E+CRAFTMAN, hope to support not only as a company in Hokkaido, but work together with the team who have high technological ability and passion towards space, and students who aim to be engineers to build the future of space. We hope that this satellite communication and transmitter/receiver trial will help the development of disaster prevention communication in the near future. Furthermore, I hope that it will be an opportunity to inspire the younger generation of Japan for technology studies. E+CRAFTMAN has a long history of developing in-house information and communication services related to distribution and logistics, and we hope that our technology, know-how, and the scheme will be utilized in future product development.”

Comment from Toshiki Takahashi, Head, Space Development Research Club

“We experienced the blackout in the Eastern Iburi earthquake that occurred in Hokkaido 2018, and realized the need for next-generation communication technology that does not rely on terrestrial communication networks. We are proceeding our development with the support and cooperation of various people in Hokkaido including E+CRAFTMAN. There is no word of thanks for all the support from various people, such as Oukou Equipment Industry Co. Ltd. and  Hokkaido Reishi Co. Ltd. who offered us the activity field for the case that the satellite development activities on campus will be restricted for a long period due to the impact of COVID-19. In this project, we would like to experiment with next-generation communication technology and build a wireless communication system that can be operated in disaster areas and conflict zones without relying on existing terrestrial communication networks.”

Comment from Kazuhiro Ohno, Manager, Marketing, Satellite Launch Services, Space BD

“We are very pleased to be able to challenge this project with E+CRAFTMAN and the members of the Hokkaido University of Science Space Development Research Club. I still remember clearly that I was excited to take up the challenge when I first heard about this project from Mr. Niiyama, the CEO of E+CRAFTMAN, members of the Hokkaido University of Science Space Development Research Club, and Prof. Mitsuhashi. I felt not only the technical skills but also the enthusiasm of all the members involved. From now on, Space BD, as a partner, will strive together to ensure a successful delivery of the project.

We believe that Space BD’s service utilizing the ISS “Kibo” is the most suitable means for missions such as this for the purpose of technical demonstration. Our experienced engineers work closely with satellite developers to provide consistent support for satellite deployment.”