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Local firm launches computing device for on-orbit data processing


South Australia-based AICRAFT announced that their edge computing module has successfully launched on board the JANUS-1 satellite from India, designed to classify Earth observation data while in orbit.

The launch, from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre as part of an agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation’s commercial arm NewSpace India Limited, saw the AI-enabled device integrated into the JANUS-1 satellite for in orbit data processing.

Dubbed the Pulsar, the device is designed to employ artificial intelligence to curate data at scale while minimising power consumption.

According to the local company, ground tests have indicated that the module can classify some 1,250 Earth observation images in 10 seconds while in power saving mode.


The module’s restricted power consumption will enable the technology to process data around the clock, “compared to the 10 minutes a day with current market solutions”.

“Getting to this point was a phenomenal journey for us. The JANUS-1 mission gave us the focus to build an advanced and space-grade AI technology in a very short time (nine months) and provided a springboard for AICRAFT to enter the space ecosystem,” Dr Tony Scoleri, chief executive officer of AICRAFT, said.

“The collaboration with the US-based Antaris Space commenced through their Australian subsidiary company which is also a member of the Aurora Space Cluster, an initiative of SmartSat CRC for start-ups, and enabled to combine forces.”

The company explained that the device is able to support 20 of the primary machine learning frameworks, and is customisable to the host satellite.


The Pulsar measures up at 95mm x 90mm x 25mm.

AICRAFT signed a memorandum of understanding with space software provider Antaris during the 2022 Australian Space Forum in Adelaide for the program.

Incorporating eight organisations, the JANUS-1 was created in 10 months, with the Pulsar manufactured locally in Australia for the mission.

“This is an exciting flight for us, and we are already in conversations with potential customers for our next mission,” Scoleri continued.


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