Initiatives that contribute to addressing social challenges

Defense & Space Systems Group

Message from the Group President

Contributing to Solving Environmental Issues and Create Sustainable Cities by Providing Artificial Satellites and Other High Added-Value Products and Services

photo: Tomonori Sato

Tomonori Sato
Executive Officer, Group President,
Defense & Space Systems
As of July 2023

The Defense & Space Systems Group is contributing to the realization of an affluent society by providing artificial satellites, various sensor systems, and other ranges of products and services. By further enhancing our strength in the satellite system, sensor, high-precision positioning, and other technologies and advancing the following initiatives by leveraging these strengths, we will continue to solve social issues:

1. Providing products and services that contribute to solving environmental issues

With our observation satellites, represented by the greenhouse gases observing satellites (the "IBUKI" (GOSAT) series), advanced land observing satellites (DAICHI (ALOS) series), and meteorological satellites (the Himawari series), we contribute to solving global-scale environmental issues by continuously providing data on the global environment, such as greenhouse gas density distribution, disaster situations, and the marine environment.

2. Providing solutions that contribute to solving various social challenges by using satellite data

By using our technology to analyze satellite observation data, we provide new solutions such as infrastructure monitoring. With a centimeter-level high-precision positioning solution that combines our three core technologies (the MICHIBIKI quasi-zenith satellite system, high-precision positioning device, high-accuracy 3D mapping), we will bring various innovations to the areas of automotive, railroad, agriculture and civil engineering. We will work on these initiatives to contribute to creating secure, safe, and comfortable sustainable cities.

Major social challenges for which risks and opportunities have been recognized and evaluated Priority SDG initiatives
  • Securing of a sustainable food production system
  • Integrated management of water resources
  • Infrastructure development that supports economic growth and disaster prevention
  • Creating secure, safe and comfortable sustainable cities
  • Reduction and management of waste
  • Addressing climate change
  • Prevention of marine pollution
  • Prevention of deforestation
icon: Priority SDG initiatives

Initiatives that contribute to addressing social challenges

Contributing to World-Leading Global Environment Observation

photo: Geostationary Meteorological Satellites Himawari-8/Himawari-9

Geostationary Meteorological Satellites Himawari-8/Himawari-9

Mitsubishi Electric was in charge of developing the geostationary meteorological satellites Himawari-8 and Himawari-9, equipped with the world's first next-generation meteorological observation sensors. They provide even greater observation functionality for monitoring global warming and weather phenomena. In addition, they achieve precise and prompt transmission of observation data thanks to reduced filming time. This enables even higher precision in weather forecasts and understanding of the sea surface temperature, phytoplankton density, sea ice, volcanic smoke, and other various global environmental phenomena. The data captured by the satellites are provided to countries and regions in Asia and Oceania, contributing to the formulation of more effective disaster prevention measures.

Mitsubishi Electric was in charge of the development of the IBUKI-2 Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite 2 (GOSAT-2), the successor of the "IBUKI" (GOSAT), which was developed as the world's first satellite dedicated to observation of the concentration and distribution of greenhouse gases in space.

IBUKI-2 is equipped with high-performance observation sensors that enable more precise measurement of greenhouse gas concentration and distribution. It also estimates particulate matter (black carbon, PM2.5, etc.), a capability which assists in monitoring atmospheric pollution.

  • photo: ©JAXA Typhoon 19 (Hagibis) in 2019 Photographed by Himawari-8

    ©Japan Meteorological Agency
    Typhoon 19 (Hagibis) in 2019 Photographed by Himawari-8

  • photo: ©JAXA Sea Phytoplankton Density Measured by Himawari-8 (The red areas indicate the highest eutrophication)

    ©Japan Meteorological Agency
    Sea Phytoplankton Density Measured by Himawari-8 (The red areas indicate the highest eutrophication)

Contributing to Conserving Global Environment and Ensuring Secure and Safe Living by Using Satellite Observation Data

photo: Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 "DAICHI-2" (ALOS-2)

Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 "DAICHI-2" (ALOS-2)

Mitsubishi Electric was in charge of the development of Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 "DAICHI-2" (ALOS-2), which has the objectives of safeguarding people's lives and solving global-scale environmental problems and observes the globe with the synthetic aperture radar, which enables observation at night and day, in good weather and bad.

"DAICHI-2" has been used in a wide area of mapping, regional observation, understanding disaster status, and resource exploration. It is useful for monitoring volcanic activity, sea ice, the illegal logging of forests, and forest fire situations, for example. In addition, processing and analyzing satellite images photographed by an observation satellite based on Mitsubishi Electric's unique technology and know-how enables understanding of more detailed situations and extracting a displacement. By leveraging these technologies, we have been advancing the demonstration of infrastructure monitoring, such as extraction of a displacement due to the inundation of rivers/gulf coasts or subsidence and detection of damage to or aging of infrastructure facilities, in cooperation with the central government and local government. By achieving the social implementation of the solutions, we contribute to a wider range and highly accurate disaster prevention and mitigation measures. We have also been working on initiatives to provide various other solutions including extracting information on ships on the ocean, and through these initiatives we contribute to people's secure and safe living.

diagram: Example of demonstration initiatives for high precision positioning solutions

Example solution using satellite observation data

Contributing to Secure, Safe, and Comfortable Living through High Precision Positioning Solution

photo: Quasi-Zenith Satellite System MICHIBIKI

Quasi-Zenith Satellite System MICHIBIKI

In the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System MICHIBIKI, one satellite among the four positioning satellites for which Mitsubishi Electric was in charge of development is constantly positioned near the zenith above Japan. This allows positioning signals to be sent to spots where obtaining positioning information was previously difficult, such as built-up urban areas and mountainous regions. By supplementing GPS signals, it also enables a positioning precision of up to the centimeter-level. By combining a high-accuracy 3D map generated from positioning data obtained from MMS* and a high precision positioning terminal that receives positioning signals from satellites with this service, we have been advancing initiatives for providing various solutions that contribute to creating cities that are secure, safe, and comfortable to live in diverse fields; for example, eco-drive control and automatic driving using road elevation and positioning data in the automotive sector, more efficient railcar operation and management in the railway sector, and automatic operation of agricultural and construction machinery in the agricultural, construction, civil engineering, and other sectors.

  • * MMS (Mobile Mapping System): A measurement system capable of obtaining 3D positioning information on the shapes, etc. of buildings and roads while traveling.
diagram: Examples of high precision positioning solutions

Examples of high precision positioning solutions