A satellite orbiting the Earth uses AI to automatically identify cloud cover. Intel revealed new details about the launch of PhiSat-1, a small experimental satellite that was launched into sun-synchronous orbit last month.
- PhiSat-1 uses a hyperspectral-thermal camera and inbuilt chip, Intel's Movidius Myriad 2 Vision Processing Unit, to accelerate data processing and minimize data movement. It's the first time the VPU, usually found in consumer devices, has been in space.
- The VPU can handle large amounts of data. It runs local AI software that can identify and remove images where the Earth is obscured, making sure only visible images are sent to scientists. This results in a bandwidth savings of up to 30%, transmitting only the most useful data.
- Startup Ubotica developed the AI software. Intel also worked with the European Space Agency, which along with Arianespace launched the satellite from a rocket along with 45 small satellites for research purposes on Sept. 2.