ESA title


Space Segment
  • Platform
  • Product Development
The future of operations in space.
Objectives of the Product

 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 

Customers and their Needs

 The customers of orbital_OLIVER are spacecraft manufacturers and operators. Their needs include: 

  • Optimising the use of in-space and on-ground resources 
  • Increasing the quality of services or products to become more competitive 
  • Reducing operations’ costs 
  • Overcoming bottlenecks from human-in-the-loop approaches 
  • Responding rapidly to unexpected events 
  • Increasing the satellite lifespan. 

Targeted customer/users countries

AIKO targets satellite manufacturers and operators across the world. 

Product description

 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: 

  • To sense the environment and its status (through onboard data processing); 
  • To plan tasks according to acquired or inferred knowledge and update the mission schedule (operations planning) 
  • To execute tasks according to the updated mission schedule (dispatching). 

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: 

  • Reduced inference time on the deep learning model 
  • Reduced workload on the CPU 
  • Optimised power consumption 

orbital_OLIVER White Paper

orbital_OLIVER Brochure

Added Value

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. 

Current Status

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: 

  • To complete the product development roadmap, prepare it for commercial exploitation 
  • To conduct required qualification and testing campaigns 
  • To acquire flight hours and training data in diverse scenarios to optimise the machine learning models 
  • To verify and validate the product on the use cases identified during the EAP. 

AIKO has recently started commercialising orbital_OLIVER, rebranding its original name MiRAGE (Mission Replanning through Autonomous Goal gEneration) and updating the product description. 

Prime Contractor Company
Contractor Project Manager
Lorenzo Feruglio
Via dei Mille 22, 10123, Torino, Italy
ESA Technical Officer
Michele Castorina

Current activities