Neuraspace Creates Smart Traffic Management Solution for Satellite Constellations
Neuraspace, a Portuguese start-up which is developing an advanced system for monitoring and preventing collisions in space, has announced the market availability of its product starting.
After having raised 2,5 million euro from investors in Portugal, Neuraspace now takes a decisive step forward with the availability of a solution that is already being used by satellite operators which plan to significantly increase the presence of their satellites in space.
There are currently around 8,000 satellites in orbit. of which only ca. 6,000 are operational. In 2021, 1778 satellites were launched into space. This number will only increase, with space traffic and space debris becoming an obstacle to space technology evolution that becomes inefficient and costly if not addressed. ESA mentions that about 31380 debris objects are currently being regularly tracked, with more than 630 break-ups, explosions, collisions, or anomalous events resulting in fragmentation.
Current solutions for collision probability identification and classification and for avoidance manoeuvre definition rely heavily on manual processes. With the growing number of space objects, both active satellites and debris, the effort that needs to be invested by operators increases exponentially, making operations costly and with an increasing risk of a wrong classification and human error. In addition, an adequate pricing of insurance premiums is increasingly difficult as the assessment of the risk-exposure is complex and subject to many unknowns, making it challenging for insurance providers to adequately address the risk faced by operators.
The traditional approaches face several challenges: insufficient data; a high number of false alerts and a large uncertainty, and the lack of scalability.
This all leads to unnecessary costs that derange operations and business viability. In a Euroconsult report of 2020, it is reported that an emergency manoeuvre in LEO can cost 25k€ for one satellite alone. A 300-satellite constellation may receive about 580 alerts per year requiring human intervention and satellite manoeuvre, costing 14 M€ per year in staff costs, analysis work, infrastructure, and more. The same Eurocosult report states that “[a]n Iridium satellite was involved in a collision in 2009, leading to complete satellite loss. A replacement satellite was in orbit, but when two Iridium satellites were damaged in 2014, the full constellation was not operating at full capacity for over 400 days, resulting in over $8 million in revenues being lost.”
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This is where Neuraspace comes in: The Neuraspace platform is a SaaS (Software as a Service) end-to-end automated solution built on three key pillars enabling satellite higher accuracy in detecting high-risk collisions and reducing human intervention by up to 75%:~
- Data Fusion: a persistent and reliable data source for better characterization of conjunction events by reducing uncertainties relies on large quantities of data from different sources are collected and fused into a coherent data warehouse. This warehouse includes: space debris images, CDMs, ephemeris files, state vectors from established catalogues and satellite owners, space weather nowcasts and forecasts, as well as information about the assets being managed.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): ML models can automatically detect patterns from complex data, and learn how the data is related. Artificial intelligence leverages big data to provide better predictions for risk mitigation.
- Manoeuvring Automation: an end-to-end automated 24/7 AI-enabled collision risk prediction with informative insights and intelligent manoeuvre suggestions based on operator constraints and priorities provides operators full support throughout the full process of risk mitigation
With the space economy growing from more than $300 billion to $1 trillion in the coming years, the system developed by Neuraspace is a cornerstone to secure this growth.
According to Chiara Manfletti, Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Neuraspace, “This is a very important step as we are validating in the market a technology that was developed to help unlock the extraordinary value of the Space economy, which will become more efficient and sustainable. We believe Neuraspace’s solution will be a benchmark in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology in the aerospace market worldwide.”
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