South Australian startup AICRAFT launched edge computing device to space
South Australian artificial intelligence (AI) company AICRAFT has successfully launched its edge computing module to set a record for Big Data processing on orbit.
The device was launched on Friday 10 February 2023 on board the JANUS-1 satellite of Antaris Space from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre of India under a commercial arrangement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
As a key sub-system of the JANUS-1 satellite, AICRAFT’s edge computing module, named Pulsar, will perform ultra-fast processing of space data using artificial intelligence at lowest power consumption.
In its preliminary tests on the ground, the company has demonstrated the ability to classify 1,250 images of Earth Observation data in about 10 seconds! This was achieved using the device in low-power mode which the company expects to enable 24/7 computation, even on ‘shoe-box-size’ nanosatellites compared to the 10 minutes a day with current market solutions.
The module offers the advantage of being highly customisable depending on the host satellite, mission duration and orbit, making it resilient but also affordable for a variety of customers and New Space entrants. From a software perspective, the module supports over 20 of the most popular machine learning frameworks with users able to develop algorithms for Pulsar in the same way they are developing on desktops and leveraging from open-source software.