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AICRAFT successfully launched its edge computing module into orbit

South Australian AI company AICRAFT has successfully launched its edge computing module to set a record for Big Data processing on orbit.

The 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 device was launched on Friday 10 February 2023 on board the JANUS-1 satellite of Antaris Inc.from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre of India.  The launch party was organised by the Flinders New Venture Institute where the AICRAFT is based and attracted interest from a range of special guests such as the Australian Space Agency, SmartSat CRC, Department for Trade and Investment, Defence, Science and Technology Group, CSIRO, Australian Industrial Transformation Institute, and more. Adrien Doucet, FACCI SA Chapter President was also one of the attendees.

Pulsar can seamlessly toggle between low-power and high-performance modes which can give a further four times speedup of its low-power processing. Its power/performance ratio is currently unmatched in this size of devices – Pulsar is 95mm x 90mm x 25mm.

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.

The CEO of AICRAFT Dr Tony Scoleri said:

“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 (9 months) and provided a springboard for AICRAFT to enter the space ecosystem. 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 startups, and enabled to combine forces.”

Commenting on how the future looks for AICRAFT after the landmark JANUS-1 mission, Dr Scoleri said:

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


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