According to foreign media reports, Sony, a veteran Japanese technology company, plans to enter the rapidly developing private space industry. The company’s current plan is to use its home appliance technology to mass produce optical communications equipment that can be used in small satellites.
In recent years, a large number of space startup companies have appeared around the world, including the United States. This move has also directly created a small satellite and mini rocket market. The cost of these projects is much lower than that of similar space projects that are usually dominated by the state. Data shows that the future size of this emerging industry is expected to reach hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars, and more and more companies believe this is an excellent opportunity to use existing technologies for development.
Sony plans to develop satellite communications equipment using its optical disc technology for use in CD players and other devices. Specifically, Sony’s existing optical disc technology allows devices to read data stored in disc pits that are only a few hundred nanometers wide, and the company hopes that the device using this technology will be able to exceed 1,000 kilometers above the Earth. High-precision satellites expand communications.
Therefore, "Sony Computer Science Laboratories" plans to cooperate with the "Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency" and begin testing related equipment in this fiscal year. The main contents include communication with Japan's pilot module Kibo on the International Space Station. Sony plans to develop basic technologies in the next two years and strives to become the first company in the world to mass-produce such systems.
At present, human communication in space is mainly achieved using radio waves, but this communication method has limitations in terms of efficiency and capacity, but lasers can stably send and receive high-resolution images. For example, in the future people may be able to use this technology to better understand the impact of natural disasters in the mountains or the urban traffic conditions.
According to the "Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies", the global scale of the space industry in 2016 reached 329 billion U.S. dollars, of which government-led projects accounted for only 23%. According to the analysis, the rapid development of this market is mainly driven by commercial interests. Private companies plan to use satellite imaging technology to provide new services to customers.
On the other hand, the US private space exploration company SpaceX has successfully reduced its rocket manufacturing costs by 30% by purchasing parts from private companies. Japanese manufacturer Canon Electronics also successfully entered the aerospace market by introducing a low-cost control system. Therefore, Sony also plans to use existing technology to reduce development and production costs, and develop satellite optical communication standards to help them gain a foothold in the rapidly growing small satellite and mini rocket market.