AICRAFT, Antaris pen deal to test AI computing for satellite systems

Two Australian space start-up companies have penned a deal to test technologies that could demonstrate on-orbit autonomous satellite navigation and control.

AICRAFT, Antaris pen deal to test AI computing for satellite systems
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Adelaide-based AICRAFT, a company which offers computing sensors and systems with AI models, and Antaris Space, based in NSW which offers software to build satellites and integrate payloads signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Wednesday.

It will involve testing artificial intelligence and machine learning models in space, with the goal of developing more advanced computing systems for satellites. 

AICRAFT will build a space-computing module as part of the payload for Antaris’ three-year demonstrator mission launching to low-Earth orbit in the latter half of 2022.

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Antaris is currently seeking expressions of interest to participate in its launch this year, which is set to send six CubeSats into space to achieve space qualification.

The partnership will allow the companies to test how these capabilities function up in space.

In recent years, there has been a shift towards developing more flexible and automated technologies for space, which require less work on the ground.

AICRAFT will also be able to test numerous AI and machine learning models for Earth observation data processing in the space environment.

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The objective, according to the duo, will be to demonstrate five to 10 times the processing speed compared with traditional solutions.

The module will also be a solely locally developed device, which will be onboard Antaris’ demonstrator satellite.

Both start-ups are members of the SmartSAT CRC-backed Aurora Space Cluster, which is a 65-member organisation representing every part of the space supply chain.

Co-founder of Antaris Inc, Shankar Sivaprakasam said the software-defined satellite platform is a means to “broaden the space ecosystem by creating a trusted marketplace of qualified space-rated software and hardware components”, a key goal for the company.

Dr Tony Scoleri, co-founder and CEO of AICRAFT said the collaboration will include testing the execution of various AI models and input data formats, such as imagery, signals and Lidar point clouds.

Systems like this can lessen the burden on ground controllers and allow for broader flexibility.

In November, internet provider Optus announced its next generation satellite which will have the ability to reconfigure in orbit, allowing for its location, coverage, bandwidth and capacity to be changed as customer demands, unlike traditional satellites.

Isabella Richards

Isabella Richards

Bella Richards is a journalist who has written for several local newspapers, her university newspaper and a tech magazine, and completed her Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) at the University of Technology Sydney in 2020. She joined Momentum Media in 2021, and has since written breaking news stories across Space Connect, Australian Aviation and World of Aviation.

You can email Bella on: [email protected]

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