Machine-learning nanosats to inform global trade
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Sep 29, 2020
The latest batch of tiny satellites to monitor trade on Earth from space have launched.
The Glaswegian-built nanosatellites join a fleet of about 100 objects in low Earth orbit that help to predict the movement of the world's resources, so that businesses and governments can make informed decisions.
The two machine-learning capable satellites were launched on a Russian Soyuz launcher, alongside two further satellites that will be used to forger inter-satellite links. These connections allow satellites to act as relays, sending data to one another and down to ground stations, which cuts the time between data collection and its delivery to customers.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, work has progressed with full support from ESA, which has extended exceptional support to small and medium-sized enterprises working in the space industry.
The satellites have been built by Spire Global UK, a satellite-powered data company that provides predictive analysis for global shipping, aviation and weather forecasting.
These services have been developed thanks to the UK Space Agency under the ESA Pioneer Partnership Project.
Spire uses automatic identification systems aboard ships to track their whereabouts on the oceans. Its network picks up the identity, position, course and speed of each vessel.
Thanks to embarked intelligent machine-learning algorithms, it can predict vessel locations and the ship's estimated time of arrival at port, enabling port authorities to manage busy docks safely and market traders to price the goods carried aboard.
Spire staff design and build all the sub-systems, and integrate and test the whole spacecraft in the company's Glasgow headquarters.
"Spire is all about helping our customers know what is next, so they can make better decisions. This month we are moving this forward by launching a true super-computer into orbit - 1-2 teraflops! - so that we can analyse data right in orbit, using smart algorithms and machine learning," said Peter Platzer, chief executive and co-founder of Spire Global.
"This will allow us to get better, smarter and faster analytics to our customers for their business decisions."
UK Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: "While nanosatellites are just the size of a shoe box, they have the power and intelligence of a regular satellite and are driving a revolution in how we observe our planet.
"Backed by Pounds 10m of UK government funding, these extraordinary nanosatellites will not only help predict global trade and make businesses more cost effective, but will ensure the UK remains at the forefront of satellite development."
Elodie Viau, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at ESA, said: "These are yet another example of innovative systems and services provided by Spire under the ESA Pioneer programme that maximises benefits to industry thanks to an efficient co-management approach tailored to commercial best practices."
The satellites have been developed under an ESA Pioneer programme, which is a Partnership Project co-funded by the UK Space Agency. The UK remains a leading member of ESA.??
ESA's Partnership Projects are aimed at de-risking partners' investments, answering market needs. They are part of ESA's programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunication Systems (ARTES).
Pioneer supports the emergence of commercial European entities with the ability to offer fast and affordable access to space to public and private customers in the field of satellite telecommunications.
The programme creates new opportunities for both established and new players in the fast-changing and competitive satellite communications market.
SpaceX postpones Starlink launch as thick clouds persist
Washington DC (UPI) Sep 28, 2020
SpaceX postponed a launch of 60 Starlink communications satellites Monday from Florida due to thick clouds above the launch pad. "You can notice on your screen above Falcon nine, we are looking at some pretty cloudy skies," said Alex Siegel, a senior material planner at SpaceX, just before the launch scrub was announced. Siegel said SpaceX doesn't have a new launch date for Starlink, but it does plan to launch a GPS satellite for the U.S. military from Florida on Tuesday. The Star ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2020 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.|