AUTONOMOUS OPERATIONS LIBRARY
MIRAGE: AUTONOMOUS OPERATIONS LIBRARY
MiRAGE is an innovative software library to enable fully autonomous space missions, making use of state of the art Artificial Intelligence and is the result of years of research in Mission Autonomy.
MiRAGE operates by analyzing the data made available during the mission (telemetry payload and external data) to generate and update the operations schedule. The satellites become aware, understanding their surroundings, the internal health, and eventual commands provided by the Mission Control Centre. MiRAGE library enables autonomous decisions during a mission, tailored to the needs of the end-users and the mission stakeholders.
Planning and scheduling is a very resource-intensive activity during most of space missions. Performing schedule changes in reaction to unplanned mission events is even more challenging, due to poor predictability of these occurrences, to the necessity of having staff on-site 24/7, and to the quick reaction times requested in order to reduce eventual mission outages.
By shifting the decision-making on-board the satellite, MiRAGE library eliminates the decision-making loop in the Mission Control Centre for all the events that were accounted for during spacecraft development, including failures, events related to mission objectives, or events generated by other elements in a constellation.
Operators still maintain highest priority in commanding the spacecraft: they are now just focusing on more critical decisions that might still require ground intervention.
We implement the latest advancements in Artificial Intelligence research to enable awareness on the satellite and to perform event detection. Our AIs are trained with datasets generated on purpose for each feature selected in MiRAGE: failure detection, payload analysis, pattern recognition including novely detection. Moreover, predictions are enabled during the mission: if certain trends are likely to result in a future Out Of Limit alert, our AIs are able to warn operators ahead of time.
By using MiRAGE, more complex missions are at reach: tracking features on the surface, activating enhanced acquisition modes, selecting and prioritizing payload downlinked data. The result is increased efficiency, mission objectives are fulfilled sooner, and downlink bandwidth is occupied only with relevant data.
REDUCING OPERATIONS COSTS
The real, long-term benefit of fully autonomous mission is the reduction of the operations costs. This is particularly important for small satellite missions, where operations costs have been shown not to scale with spacecraft size, and for constellations, where the high number of operators per spacecraft simply cannot be afforded with hundreds, thousands of satellites.
TRL AND COMPATIBILITY
MiRAGE, currently at TRL 6, is scheduled to reach TRL 7 by end of 2018.
The on-board version is compatible with Linux-based OS, while the ground-based one supports Win/Unix/Mac OS architectures.
We believe future space missions will be fully autonomous, and our technology can help in achieving this!
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- Tags: Aerospace · Industrial Automation · Artificial Intelligence · Embedded Hardware and Software