News Releases

SKY Perfect JSAT and ITOCHU Honored with Minister of the Environment Award
in Japan's 6th Space Development and Utilization Awards

Mar 13, 2024

 SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation (Headquartered: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President & Chief Executive Officer: Eiichi Yonekura; hereinafter "SKY Perfect JSAT") and ITOCHU Corporation (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President and COO: Keita Ishii; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) received the Minister of the Environment Award at the 6th Space Development and Utilization Awards organized by the Cabinet Office of Japan. These awards recognize companies and projects that have made significant contributions to the promotion and advancement of space development and utilization, and have taken a leading role in such efforts. The Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR*1) satellite-based oil spill detection service jointly provided by SKY Perfect JSAT and ITOCHU to the Qatari Ministry of Environment & Climate Change, was recognized as an exemplary initiative in marine environment protection.

 This service is provided in joint partnership with Kongsberg Satellite Services, AS (Headquartered: Tromsø, Norway, hereinafter “KSAT”), a leading provider of global ground network and satellite-based earth observation services and uses SAR satellite imagery downlinked at KSAT and its partners' ground stations to detect offshore oil leaks. Following such process, analysis is performed in combination with AIS (Automatic Identification System) information*2 transmitted from vessels, and the vessel with the oil leak can be identified. This approach can be expected to protect the marine environment and preventing damage at important facilities such as desalination facilities and power plants in coastal areas from oil leaks.

 SKY Perfect JSAT and ITOCHU will aim for sustainable growth by utilizing observation data from space, which is expected to expand the market in the future, contributing to the sustainability of society and the environment, solving social issues through business activities.

*1 SAR: Synthetic Aperture Radar. A radar that obtains an image of the earth surface by irradiating the ground surface with microwaves and analyzing the signals that are reflected back. It is characterized by being able to penetrate clouds and volcanic smoke, and to observe the situation of the ground surface regardless of day or night or weather.
*2 AIS information: Information such as vessel’s identification code, name, location, speed, course, destination, etc., transmitted from its Automatic Identification System. From perspective of maritime safety, such as collision prevention, vessels navigating the sea are obliged to exchange such voyage related information with each other, and to be installed on certain vessels as stipulated by the SOLAS Convention (Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea). The purposes are (1) to identify vessels, (2) to assist in tracking targets, (3) to facilitate the exchange of voyage information, (4) to provide information useful in collision avoidance, (5) to reduce ship reports by radiotelephone. For this reason, the AIS device must always be turned on, even when the vessel is anchored, and continuing to transmit the vessel's own information so its location can be determined at all times.

■Related Links
●6th Space Development and Utilization Awards (in Japanese only) : https://www.s-riyoutaishou.jp/
●June 19, 2023, SKY Perfect JSAT Release: “SKY Perfect JSAT and ITOCHU Announced Commencement of SAR Satellite-Based Oil Spill Monitoring Service to Qatar”
●December 7, 2016, SKY Perfect JSAT Release: “SKY Perfect JSAT has entered into a Strategic Alliance with Kongsberg Satellite Services to accelerate LEO-related businesses and enter into marine information service”

●SKY Perfect JSAT Space Business Website: https://www.skyperfectjsat.space/jsat/en/

■Award Ceremony held on March 12, 2024, in Tokyo, Japan

Photo from the Awards Ceremony

●Reason for the Award (Quoted from the selection committee comments)
This case exemplifies a good service in the Middle East, which is a strategically and politically significant region for Japan, and the adoption of this service by the Qatari government has led to inquiries from other Persian Gulf countries, indicating an expected growth in future contracts. Utilizing SAR satellites, this service enables the identification of oil leaks from ships and has already commenced providing services to the Qatari Ministry of Environment & Climate Change. The widespread adoption of this service is anticipated to lead to prompt responses to oil spills, contributing to the preservation of the marine environment and the effective utilization of resources.

●SKY Perfect JSAT Comment
Daisuke Hirata, Team Leader, Space Intelligence Business Division, Space Business Group

We are very happy to receive this award. Observation satellites offer the unique capability of monitoring broad areas. SAR satellites, in particular, can observe day and night without being affected by weather conditions. Leveraging this, we have initiated services that support the protection of the marine environment. Moving forward, we aim to utilize space data, including data from observation satellites, to develop solutions that can address various disaster risks, not only for marine environmental conservation but also for broader applications.