Significant inefficiencies result from the human-centric approach to satellite operations. Latency, short communication windows, and costly downlinks are all detriments to the mission’s effectiveness.
To address these problems, AIKO has developed orbital_OLIVER, an onboard automation software that augments spacecraft performance and reduces mission operations costs, opening up new opportunities in the use of space.
orbital_OLIVER analyses data from the satellite and its operational environment to devise and execute a dynamic schedule of tasks. Therefore, autonomy-enabled capabilities allow satellites to perceive and react to unexpected events, lowering operating costs and improving service quality
The customers of orbital_OLIVER are spacecraft manufacturers and operators. Their needs include:
AIKO targets satellite manufacturers and operators across the world.
orbital_OLIVER is a software that enables in-space mission autonomy for satellites.
orbital_OLIVER uses event detection and pattern recognition technologies applied to payload and telemetry data to make decisions independently.
The software abstracts a simple cognitive architecture from complex space systems, providing satellites with the ability:
orbital_OLIVER has been successfully tested for x86-64 and ARM computing architectures. Moreover, processing modules are compatible with a wide range of hardware accelerators (including Intel Myriad, Google Coral, and Nvidia Jetson), resulting in several key advantages:
orbital_OLIVER enables autonomous satellite operations, overcoming the limitations of human-centric spacecraft operations. The independence from ground control paves the way for benefits such as reducing mission operating costs, increased activity lifespan, and optimised use of resources. orbital_OLIVER will also become the pillar for the logistical scalability of novel constellation architectures, in which hundreds or thousands of satellites will operate collaboratively to reach mission goals.
The InCubed programme officially began in May 2021 and was finished in July 2023. In this timeframe, AIKO improved the technical soundness of orbital_OLIVER by testing it in real operational scenarios and gaining flight hours.
AIKO had been running the Early Adopters Program (EAP) for this endeavour. This program granted selected partners early technological access to orbital_OLIVER, ensuring the product’s compatibility with potential customers’ needs. In the context of the EAP, AIKO acknowledges the support from Tyvak International, the UK branch of D-Orbit, and UNIBAP.
The culmination of the EAP has been a series of in-orbit demonstrations carried out onboard one of the ION Satellite Carrier OTV by D-Orbit. These experiments validated orbital_OLIVER’s functionalities in an operational scenario, demonstrating its added value in improving mission efficiency and regulating the optimal usage of onboard resources.
AIKO leveraged the InCubed development resources:
AIKO has recently started commercialising orbital_OLIVER, rebranding its original name MiRAGE (Mission Replanning through Autonomous Goal gEneration) and updating the product description.