Spiral Blue AI system on board of SW1FT
Spiral Blue is launching its first prototype Space Edge Zero (SEZ) computer for testing in orbit. The SEZ will be a part of SatRevolution’s SW1FT shared platform mission, set for launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 no earlier than December 2020. Following in orbit qualification, the SEZ will be tested throughout 2021.
This mission will be more than just a technical demonstrator to prove that SEZ works in space. SatRevolution’s SW1FT platform will also be carrying an optical payload capable of capturing RGB imagery at 5.8 m resolution. This imagery will be passed to SEZ, allowing SEZ to take in and process Earth Observation data in real time. We intend to test a variety of algorithms on these images, such as our Vessel Detect AI. This gives us the opportunity to do a full end-to-end test of Space Edge computing from both a technological and commercial perspective – taking images, processing them, and delivering the processed data.
Why Space Edge Computing?
Clients of satellite images often do not need massive amounts of raw satellite image data, but rather a report or a set of analytics to help inform decisions. Satellite images must usually be processed heavily to deliver these desired outputs. Space Edge computing allows this processing to happen on the satellite, rather than on the ground. Any Space Edge equipped satellite has the capability to deliver precisely what the client needs. This provides benefits in flexibility, speed, and affordability.
For example, a farmer with a 1 square kilometre farm interested in tasking new images of their farm may reach out to a provider that sells images at $10 per square kilometre, expecting to pay $10. However, the satellite delivering these images can only snap and send down 100 square kilometres at a time. This means the farmer must pay $1000 per square kilometre rather than the excepted $10 in this situation. If this satellite were equipped with Space Edge, it would be able to crop the image down to just the farmer’s plot and send this cropped image down. This frees up the satellite’s limited communications bandwidth, allowing it to image other areas. This reduces the cost to the farmer by a hundredfold.
Similar benefits can be achieved in industries as diverse as defence, planning, regulation, agriculture, mining, utilities, and financial services.
The SW1FT Satellite
Spiral Blue’s SEZ computer will be a part of SatRevolution’s SW1FT shared platform mission. The specifications of the mission and optical payload are summarised below.
Space Edge Zero
The Space Edge Zero (SEZ) computer uses Nvidia’s Maxwell chip at its core. Running a version of the Linux Ubuntu operating system, it is capable of running virtually any code written on a desktop operating system. This allows for rapid development and deployment of functional applications on the SEZ, including software updates after launch. The SEZ’s Maxwell chip can provide hardware acceleration for space machine learning and artificial intelligence models with its 472 gigaflops of parallel processing power. Additional SEZ specs are provided below.
Spiral Blue is building next generation Earth observation services using proprietary data processing techniques, with a focus on maritime surveillance for defence. We are ultimately seeking to build and operate Earth Observation satellites carrying Space Edge computers. Founded in 2017 by Founder and CEO Taofiq Huq, we are now a team of 3, including Dr Henry Zhong (Head of Machine Learning) and James Buttenshaw (Systems and Electrical Engineer).
SatRevolution is a new space company based in Wroclaw, Poland, offering complete nanosatellite systems and solutions. Founded in 2016 with the idea to build and launch first Earth Observation constellation in Poland, SatRevolution has recently been co-funded by European Regional Development Fund for the first stage of the constellation. The company specializes in cubesat and microsatellite platforms and services, with two satellites already in orbit and a number of customer projects well on the way.
Fly with us
Spiral Blue is developing Earth Observation services that can leverage Space Edge. We invite other Earth Observation services companies to join us in using the Space Edge platform. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.