IBM has announced two open-source projects that propose to solve the technical challenges faced by cube satellites. These satellites are designed to be miniaturized version for space research and space situation awareness.
Both were constructed by the company’s Space Tech Hub team, which is led by their prominent engineer and space tech CTO Naeem Altaf. These satellites are now available as containerized deployments on IBM’s Red Hot OpenShift platform. Also, the Space Tech Hub team often works closely with several state agencies, universities, and space technology companies to design solutions for spacecraft and satellites.
The unveiling of KubeSat by IBM, a framework designed for optimizing communications in small satellites
IBM rolled out KubeSat, an autonomous framework designed to simulate orbital mechanics for objects. This framework is primarily for small satellites to optimize communications. An IBM spokesperson said that KubeSat can simulate the way cube satellites form clusters and also communicate with things like ground stations.
The American multinational is also open-sourcing the app code for Orekit. It is designed by Stanford University’s undergraduate students. Its extensions help in satellite-to-satellite, ground-to-satellite, and satellite-to-ground simulation, over a meshed NATS messaging platform, with an optional custom-designed visualization layer.
SSA system, launched by American Multinational in collaboration with Dr. Moriba Jha
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Another project launched by IBM is the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) system. It was developed while working closely with the University of Texas, Austin professor Dr. Moriba Jah. It takes advantage of AI techniques to identify when the physical model predicts an object’s future location inaccurately.
SSA takes data from the United States Strategic Command to coach baseline AI models. IBM said that for the majority of the objects in low-Earth orbit, the dataset is upgraded once each day. SSA merges two models and adjusts the physical model’s prediction as per the predicted error.
Committed to the future of space innovation, says IBM in the blog post
On the launch of both projects, IBM said in a blog post that its team is committed to contributing to the future of space innovation. Also, it further added that with the advancement in satellites in the lower Earth orbit in space, a large amount of data would be produced. This data would mostly be related to observation critical to space traffic management and space situational awareness.