IAI unveils system to extend satellite life span by flagging and fixing mishaps

SatGuard uses AI, big data and machine learning technologies to analyze satellites’ operations and fix anomalies; tech stems from IAI Innovation Center accelerator program

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

An illustration of IAI's SatGuard’s simulation (Courtesy)
An illustration of IAI's SatGuard’s simulation (Courtesy)

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has developed a new system to operate and manage observation and communication satellites, designed to extend the life of satellites deployed into orbit.

The new SatGuard system uses AI, big data and machine learning technologies that are able to detect anomalies and other irregularities in satellites’ operations.

Telemetry information received from the satellites enables the system to analyze trends and identify irregularities and changes, address them, and prevent future anomalies, IAI said in a statement.

The technology is based on the years of space experience garnered by systems developed by IAI’s Systems, Missiles and Space Group and as part of the  IAI’s Innovation Center acceleration program, called the SPARX Innovation Lab, which is operated in collaboration with Starburst, a global startup accelerator specializing in aerospace.

The proof of concept of the new system was done on data received from Venus, a research satellite developed and built by IAI for the Israeli and French space agencies, the statement said.

Some measurements tested and monitored by SatGuard include the navigation accuracy of subsystems, temperatures, electric currents and voltages, dynamical behavior and communication sub-systems.

The SPARX Innovation Lab, within the Systems, Missiles and Space Group of IAI, seeks to identify future tech trends and focuses on fostering seed-round companies.

Inbal Kreis, head of the Innovation Center for IAI’s System, Missiles and Space Group, said that advanced machine learning, big data, and AI capabilities have enabled the development of a system “that provides accurate results in real-time.”

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