Space Hub and KAIST Established a Space Research Center and Launched the "ISL" Project.
Space Hub, which oversees Hanwha's space industry, has established a space research center in partnership with KAIST.
It is the largest space research center in Korea that has been jointly established by a private company and a university. Hanwha will invest KRW 100 billion in the research center to be established under the management of the Vice President for Research at KAIST.
Space Hub is a space business headquarters that was launched in March, with the participation of Hanwha Aerospace, Hanwha Systems, Hanwha Corporation, and Satrec Initiative.
The first research project of the Space Hub and KAIST is the development of Inter Satellite Links (ISL: communication technology between satellites) for low-orbit satellite communications. ISL is an essential technology for implementing communication services using low-orbit satellites. The key task of the ISL is to exchange data between satellites using lasers.
Unlike conventional geostationary satellites, low-orbit satellites can quickly process large amounts of data by sending and receiving data with lasers using ISL technology.
Internet access will also be possible on airplanes and ships in transit and at remote areas without access to electricity. This technology can be immediately capitalized in Hanwha Systems' satellite communications and air mobility businesses.
SpaceX in the U.S. and other companies are also working hard to develop ISL, because ISL can be expected to have economic benefits immediately in the space industry, which requires a massive amount of funds. This is why there is a heated battle for ISL development worldwide in the private space development sector.
Along with the ISL project, the Space Research Center is also working on various technologies that will accelerate private space development and satellite commercialization. These include launch vehicle technology, satellite attitude control, observation technology, and space energy technology. The Center is also actively developing the manpower expertise and capabilities needed for new projects.
The KAIST Research Office said that it marks a milestone in developing practical commercialization technologies that surpass simple industry-university partnerships, and that it serves as a turning point for the Korean space industry to excel in the private sector-led New Space era.