Nihon Suido Consultants Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, President: Kazunori Mayama) and Synspective Inc. (Headquarters: Tokyo, CEO: Motoyuki Arai) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a strategic alliance to promote the use of SAR satellite data in the water supply and sewerage sectors in Japan.
- Japan’s challenges in the water and sewerage sectors
The water supply and sewerage sectors are important lifelines for civic life, preserving water quality in public waters and ensuring public health. They are important social infrastructures that require quick functional recovery in the event of a disaster. However, from a cost effective and prediction perspective, it is difficult to develop facilities that can be fully responsive from peacetime to emergencies. There are, at present, only a limited number of areas that comprehensively provide well-maintained water supply, sewer and drainage systems. Also, due to the impact of climate change associated with global warming in recent years, flood damage from torrential rains has occurred on an almost annual basis, and urban inland flooding is also increasing. As torrential rain disasters are expected to increase in the future, there is a growing need to enhance organizations’ capabilities and make flood control activities more effective and preventive.
- The possibility of SAR satellite data in the water supply and sewerage sectors
SAR satellites can understand a flood damage situation in a wide area with high resolution and high frequency. By acquiring flood information from Synspective’s small SAR satellite constellation, it will be possible for local government officials involved in disaster response to implement more effective and preventive flood control activities. In addition to developing a new timeline and evacuation support for flood prevention, it is anticipated that relevant organizations will be able to develop a comprehensive stormwater management plan from the perspective of watershed management.
Through this alliance, Nihon Suido Consultants, which has experience and knowledge as a leading water consultancy, and Synspective, which develops satellite data solutions, aim to build a new approach to water management in Japan’s water supply and sewerage sectors.
- Synspective’s small SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite constellation
Synspective develops and operates its own small SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellites (*1), which applies the results of the Cabinet Office’s “ImPACT” program, and also provides satellite data solutions. Synspective aims to build a constellation of 30 satellites by the late 2020s, which includes 1 satellite currently in orbit. A constellation of 30 satellites in low Earth orbit will enable the observation of natural disasters occurring anywhere in the world within a 2-hour timeframe. (Capturing an image in any area of Japan is possible within a short time interval of several minutes.)
*1：SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite: Since the shape of terrains and structures are observed using microwaves, Earth observation is possible day or night, independent of cloud coverage.
* 2: Satellite constellation: A state in which a large number of satellites are linked and working together as a system.