Fleets of autonomous satellites to coordinate tasks among themselves
WURZBURG, Germany - Space missions have long benefited from some autonomous operations being carried out aboard spacecraft, but with a sharp increase expected in the number of satellites being launched in the next few years, researchers are using automation and artificial intelligence to make them smarter and more effective, reports Rex Merrifield for Horizon.
The Intelligent Aerospace take:
March 27, 2019-In space launches, weight equals money. With private launch companies now in the market with reusable rockets, the price has fallen, but it still costs around $5,000 per kilogram to put a satellite into low-earth orbit and $30,000 per kg to put an object into geosynchronous orbit. Professor Klaus Schilling, chair of robotics and telematics at Würzburg University in Germany, sees the benefit of using groups of small satellites to form a network to do what a larger satellite does, and provide better temporal and spatial resolution than a traditional multi-ton satellite. Shilling's plan involves small satellites approximately 3 kg each being placed into low-Earth orbit and be able to coordinate with other satellites in the "swam" using AI and deep learning.
Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
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