LocationMind, IHI, and ArkEdge Space selected for NEDO’s “Economic Security Critical Technology Development Program/Development and Demonstration of Oceanographic Situation Monitoring Technology Using Communication Satellite Constellations for Ships”.

We will engage in research and development of satellite technology from space, and data platform technology for aggregating and sharing maritime information through two-way communications.

LocationMind Inc. ("LocationMind") has been selected by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization ("NEDO") to participate in the "Program for Fostering Key Technologies for Economic Security / Development and Demonstration of Oceanographic Situation Monitoring Technology Using Communication Satellite Constellations for Ships (Head Office: Koto-ku, Tokyo; CEO: Takayoshi Fukus" with IHI Corporation (Head Office: Koto-ku, Tokyo; CEO: Hiroshi Ide; hereinafter "IHI") and Ark Edge Space Inc. (Head Office: Koto-ku, Tokyo; CEO: Takayoshi Fukuyo; hereinafter "Ark Edge Space"). The project will commence on Friday, March 17, 2023.

In this project, the three companies plan to leverage their technological capabilities to develop and demonstrate Japan's first technology for monitoring ocean conditions using a communications satellite constellation for ships.

LocationMind will contribute to further enhancement of maritime safety by developing a function for processing and analyzing big data from ships using AI analysis technology for location information cultivated before the establishment of the business. We will also develop the world's first function to prevent tampering with vessel location data by utilizing our patented signal authentication technology. Signal authentication has already been implemented in Japan's positioning satellite MICHIBIKI.

【Project Description】
Research, development, and demonstration of data platform technology for satellite technology necessary to comprehensively collect information on vessel movement from space for maritime situational awareness, and for aggregation and sharing of maritime information through two-way communication, with the following goals.

  1. Establish satellite technology to carry VDES*2 with advanced AIS*1 and next-generation data sharing system technology to aggregate and share MDA (maritime domain awareness) information.
  2. Establishment of a data platform based on the VDES satellite constellation and next-generation data sharing system technology as the core technology to provide services such as ocean situational awareness, big data collection, and two-way advanced information communication.
  3. Interconnection and operation of the above platforms with other maritime related platforms and overseas VDES related platforms.
  4. Basic system configuration required for the project (marine situational awareness).

*1 AIS: AIS (Automatic Identification System) is a system for exchanging navigational information of ships navigating at sea with other ships and shore stations. From the viewpoint of collision prevention and human safety, it is mandatory for vessels meeting certain conditions to be equipped with AIS.
*2 VDES: VDES (VHF Data Exchange System) is a system that extends the functions of AIS and is intended to establish a network of two-way communication for ships and oceans. Japan has been leading the international standardization of this system.

【Business Background】
■Policy Importance
In order for Japan to utilize its geopolitical advantage and realize the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific Concept," it is necessary to strengthen the ability to conduct Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) of the seas surrounding Japan and sea lanes by utilizing space.

■Issues Related to Maritime Domain Awareness
Since 2002, some vessels have been required by treaty to be equipped with AIS, enabling them to use satellites to monitor global vessel movements (dynamic information, static information, navigation-related information, etc.). However, since AIS is only available for ocean-going vessels and domestic vessels over a certain tonnage, fishing vessels and small vessels have not been equipped with AIS, and AIS signals are often disconnected or spoofed in maritime security operations. AIS signals are not reliable enough as MDA information due to the disconnection and spoofing of AIS signals. In addition, AIS signals are designed to exchange information over short distances at sea, so when received in space, there are many omissions due to signal collisions, and the signals are not in real time, limiting the acquisition of reliable data.

■Expectations for maritime situational awareness
It is important to have an autonomous MDA capability utilizing space infrastructure to drastically improve the current situation where "the movements of all vessels are not fully known" in relation to the information collection system that contributes to early detection of threats and risks in the ocean. In addition, with regard to the coast guard services that support the operation of a safe and secure maritime transportation system that plays a key role in Japan's social and economic activities, two-way communication utilizing space infrastructure is expected to be of great help in providing maritime safety information and enhancing the capability of navigation assistance and maritime traffic control.

In response to the recognition of the above issues and the growing expectations, we will promote research and development under this project. In this project, based on VDES, for which Japan has taken the lead in international standardization, we will conduct research and development of satellite technology for MDA to comprehensively collect information on vessel movements from space, and data platform technology to aggregate and share maritime information through two-way communication.

【Project period】
8 years from FY2022 to FY2029

For more information on the adoption of the project: https://www.nedo.go.jp/koubo/SM3_100001_00034.html


For inquiries, please contact
LocationMind Corporation (Attn: Sano)
MAIL: inquiry@locationmind.com