Just when you thought artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing have more or less infiltrated every aspect of modern living, the European Space Agency (ESA) is taking these nascent technologies up into space by incorporating relevant features into new-generation satellites.
Around 20 scientists and engineers divided into twelve teams recently convened at the ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Center to discuss findings discovered over the course of six months on how the Agency can fast-track the implementation of AI capabilities into space.
Several teams conducted a study on how smarter AI-driven satellites could improve modern living by way of managing both natural and manmade disasters from space. Others studied the possibility of using smarter satellites to support more sustainable space exploration initiatives and even make rovers more independent in terms of movement.
Several teams involved in the study noted that smarter satellites could go beyond making research more sustainable and actually bring financial opportunities for the European Union, essentially creating an off-planet commercial ecosystem. These teams went on to discuss the commercial potential of relevant technologies along with the market value of several related products.
Bringing AI and cloud computing into the realm of space exploration is also seen as a way by which European nations could keep up with the rest of the world in terms of development, as these are both fields where Europe in general has historically missed out.
Leopold Summerer, ESA’s head of advanced concepts, added that doing so will enable European companies to grow in a new direction and thive in a more innovation-driven global ecosystem.