SEOUL, South Korea – In the first half of 2022, Hancom InSpace (CEO Choi Myungjin), an affiliate of Hancom Group (Chairman Kim Sang-Cheol), working in cooperation with Spire Global (NASDAQ: SPIR), a leading US space satellite data company, will launch Korea’s first private satellite for Earth observation. With this event, Hancom Group will be the first non-governmental entity in South Korea to put into space a satellite weighing less than 100 kg.
“As the global space industry is entering a private-led ‘new-space’ era, we will lead the Korean space industry,” says Choi Myungjin, CEO of Hancom InSpace. “The global image data service market is expected to grow significantly from KRW81 trillion this year to KRW100 trillion in 2024, and Hancom Group will continue to push for bold differentiation strategies and investments to gain an edge in the electro-optical/infrared image data service market.”
The world’s first three-tiered remote sensing image data service belt
With the launch of Sejong-1, Hancom Group will complete the first step in creating a worldwide remote sensing data service belt linking space, the aerial area, and the ground, using satellites and drones equipped with ultra-high-resolution sensors. With this unrivaled total-service belt, Hancom Group is targeting the agricultural sector, which shows the highest demand among the remote sensing service market. Hancom Group plans to penetrate the global market starting with Southeast Asia, which has a high proportion of agricultural industry.
Hancom Group also plans to expand into other data usage capacities, such as forest resource management, disaster management, and detection of urban changes, and provide video data services tailored to various demands in the public market through cooperation with companies such as Hancom Inc., Hancom Lifecare, and Hancom MDS.
Hancom InSpace and the Sejong-1 Low Earth Orbit CubeSat
Hancom InSpace has been providing remote sensing image data service since 2012 through the establishment and operation of ground stations for satellite and unmanned drone systems. By owning and developing its own satellites and solutions, the company has established an all-in-one service system that collects, manages, analyzes, and sells video data, securing an unrivaled competitive posture and expanding its business.
The Sejong-1 is a low earth orbit CubeSat, 20 cm wide, 10 cm long, 30 cm high, and weighing only 10.8 kg. It will orbit the Earth 14 to 16 times a day, completing an orbit every 90 minutes, and collect image data of 7 wavelengths using a 5m-resolution observation camera. Hancom Group plans to launch four more on single satellites Sejong-series sequentially and anticipates launching and operating cluster satellites, more than 50 satellites per cluster. This level of global coverage will enable Hancom Group to subdivide global observation areas, shorten data acquisition times, and expand to global services.
Extending the remote sensing image fleet
The Sejong-1 extends Hancom’s data collection capabilities by adding to its airborne remote sensing image collection fleet. In September 2021, Hancom Group introduced the HD-500 observation drone. This small-to-medium-sized gas-powered drone measures 41 cm wide, 41 cm long, and 35.2 cm high. It weighs only 3.5 kg and is optimized for remote sensing image data collection using technology developed in a recently announced joint venture with Infiniti Electro-Optics (a division of Ascendent Technology Group, Inc.). Infiniti Electro-Optics’ high-resolution, day/night dual PTZ camera system technology that supports customization of various optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors. Optical cameras can be enlarged up to 135 times, while the infrared thermal imaging cameras can detect people from a distance of 20 km and vehicles from a distance of more than 50 km.
Both optical and thermal imaging cameras can be mounted on land vehicles, drones, and other aircraft. Furthermore, as these cameras perform precise operations, reorienting the angle of the sensors by as little as 0.001° to and as much as 110° within a second, high demand is projected from both commercial and defense organizations. Using Hancom InSpace’s AI analysis technology and Infiniti Electro-Optics’ sensor technology, Hancom Group plans to jointly develop sensors targeting global satellite markets.
About Hancom Group
Founded in 1990, Hancom Group (www.hancomglobal.com) is a leader in creating innovative ecosystems that will lead the world through the convergence of technology. With its reach of 16 affiliate companies covering hardware, software, and the finance industry, the Group’s mission is to create a “convenient world, connected world, and safe & secure world.”
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