Artificial intelligence for space exploration | mthree

Artificial intelligence for space exploration

02/09/2021

The space industry is buzzing. Thanks to huge leaps in technology, we can now go further into the galaxy to explore uncharted territories, and potentially even uncover new phenomena. In this blog, we are going to find out how AI is used in space exploration. 

AI's Role In Space Exploration

Artificial intelligence (AI) accompanies astronauts on their vigorous space journeys and helps in executing space missions that would be unthinkable if only reliant on human capabilities. AI has proven its great potential and is a game-changer in space exploration such as charting unnoted galaxies, stars, black holes, and studying cosmic events, as well as communication, autonomous starcraft navigation, monitoring and system control. 

Also read: Artificial Intelligence Definition: What is AI?

AI-based assistants and robots

The most recent use case of AI is found in the endeavours to create AI-powered, empathetic robotic assistants to help astronomers in their long space travel by understanding and predicting the needs of the crew, and understanding the emotions of astronauts.

Image analysis automation

NASA is constantly making progress in AI applications for space exploration to automate image analysis for galaxy, planet or star classification. Also, developing autonomous spacecraft that could keep away from space debris without human intervention, creating communication networks efficiently and distortion-free by using an AI-based cognitive radio. 

Intelligent navigation system

In 2018, NASA developed an AI system that helped astronauts find their way on the planets with help of Intel. The AI would be trained with millions of the moon’s images and then use a neural network to create a virtual moon’s map. The same algorithm was then applied to the Mars exploration program.

Autonomous rovers

But one of the most important applications of AI for NASA is the development of autonomous rovers that roam the surface of other planets (currently the surface of Mars). These autonomous robots are required to make decisions and avoid obstacles on the rough surface while determining the best route without specific commands from the mission control. These autonomous robots have been a huge prerequisite for some of the breakthroughs in explorations on Mars.

The future of space explorations is in the hands of AI

The use of AI in space exploration is valued at a staggering US$2 billion and still growing. Not just space researchers and scientists, even governments across the globe are showing interest in adopting AI to become powerful.

Interested in knowing how AI can further assist space exploration? Read on here now. 

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