Japan: In a bid to provide image data covering many parts of the globe, a Japanese space business venture, Axelspace, will attempt to place 50 microsatellites into orbit from 2017 to 2022. The imagery obtained will be used for several applications, including crop forecasts for large-scale farms in North America and the surveillance of oil fields in oil-producing countries.
Axelspace has developed 80-kg microsatellites that are 60cm by cm 60 by 80 cm in dimension each. A cluster of 50 such satellites will cover 45 percent of all land on Earth and make daily updates to information on almost all geographical areas where economic activities are carried out. By analyzing accumulated data, Axelspace also plans to provide a service to predict future developments in many fields, officials said.
Source: Japan Times