SAN FRANCISCO – Like many of its western counterparts, Japan’s Institute for Q-shu Pioneers of Space (iQPS) has ambitious plans for its Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) constellation.
By 2025, iQPS plans to operate a 36-satellite constellation to gather data and imagery with a resolution of one meter “of almost any point in the world within 10 minutes and to conduct fixed-point observations of particular areas once every 10 minutes,” iQPS spokeswoman Yuki Ariyoshi told SpaceNews by email. With that resolution, customers can obtain frequent imagery of land and buildings in addition to observing moving objects like livestock, vehicles and vessels, she added.
IQPS launched its first 100-kilogram SAR satellite, Izanagi, in November 2019 on an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. The firm’s second satellite, Izanami, is scheduled to launch as early as December on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as part of Spaceflight’s SXRS-3 rideshare mission.