New Deep Learning Method Adds 301 Planets to Kepler’s Total Count

This artist’s illustration shows the planetary system K2-138, which was discovered by citizen scientists in 2017 using data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope. [Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)]

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — Scientists recently added a whopping 301 newly validated exoplanets to the total exoplanet tally. The throng of planets is the latest to join the 4,569  already validated planets orbiting a multitude of distant stars. How did scientists discover such a huge number of planets, seemingly all at once? The answer lies with a new deep neural network called ExoMiner.

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BigBear.ai Enters into Commercial Partnership with Terran Orbital to Support Satellite Constellation Manufacturing and Operations

COLUMBIA, Md. (BigBear.ai PR) – BigBear.ai, a leading provider of artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud-based big data analytics, and cyber engineering solutions, announced today that it has entered into a landmark software agreement with Terran Orbital, a global leader and pioneer in the development, innovation and operation of small satellites and earth observation solutions. BigBear.ai’s AI-powered insights will enhance Terran Orbital’s manufacturing, operations, and multi-source Earth imaging offering for U.S. government, international defense and commercial clients.

The commercial agreement represents a long-term partnership between BigBear.ai and Terran Orbital. Together, BigBear.ai and Terran Orbital plan to pioneer AI solutions with the use of new data collected from Terran Orbital’s planned NextGen Earth Observation constellation and BigBear.ai’s existing data analytics platform. Terran Orbital and BigBear.ai are working to revolutionize AI using insights gleaned from the New Space ecosystem.

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NGA Awards Contract to Solve Economic-Related GEOINT Challenges

SPRINGFIELD, Va. (NGA PR) — The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency awarded a new flexible contract that is designed to enable best of class analytic solutions for economic related GEOINT challenges.  

The five-year operational contract awarded at $29 million will compete delivery orders across the five selected vendors: BAE, Ball Aerospace, BlackSky, Continental Mapping Consultants, and Royce Geospatial Consultants Inc. These vendors were competitively selected among a diverse pool of companies.

“Understanding economic activity and trends around the world is critically important to our policymakers,” said Dave Gauthier, Director, Source Commercial Business and Operations Group at NGA. “I am excited to see innovative commercial solutions and geospatial analytic services that may provide new insights into the flows of raw materials, agricultural products, equipment, fuels, vehicles, waste products and other goods.”

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Maxar Awarded $26 Million Contract to Continue Development and Support for NGA’s Open Mapping Platform

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (Maxar Technologies PR) — Maxar Technologies (NYSE:MAXR) (TSX:MAXR), a trusted partner and innovator in Earth Intelligence and Space Infrastructure, today announced it has been awarded a five-year contract worth up to $26.4 million by the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) to sustain and enhance the National System for Geospatial Intelligence Open Mapping Enclave (NOME). Under the agreement, Maxar will continue to provide engineering, software development and geospatial tradecraft in support of NOME.

The web-based NOME platform enables a community of vetted U.S. government users to create and update geospatial features in a crowdsourced “living map.” NOME was initially developed to support NGA’s foundation mapping mission, but the platform emerged as a powerful tool to perform unclassified mission support remotely throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Increasingly, users also leverage the platform to create features for further dissemination across multiple networks and to train artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) models.

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D-Orbit’s ION Satellite Carrier Rides to Space atop SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket

Falcon 9 launches the Transporter-2 mission. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

FINO MORNASCO, Italy, June 30th, 2021 (D-Orbit PR) — D-Orbit, a leader in the space logistics and orbital transportation industry, announced today the successful launch of another ION Satellite Carrier (ION), its proprietary orbital transportation vehicle. ION lifted off on June 30th, 2021, at 9:31 pm CEST, atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS), Florida. On the same day, 60 minutes after liftoff, the vehicle was successfully deployed into a 500 km Sun synchronous orbit (SSO).

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Synthetaic Awarded AFWERX Contract to Leverage Synthetic Data and AI-Powered Object Detection

Synthetaic provides the US Air Force with faster ways to monitor change, extract key insights, and enable automation through AI models with minimal human labeling.

DELAFIELD, Wisc., May 20, 2021 (Synthetaic PR) – Synthetaic, the leading synthetic data company, today announced it has won a contract with AFWERX, a program of the USAF focused on expanding technology, talent, and transition partnerships for rapid and affordable commercial and military capability. Synthetaic’s Rapid Automatic Image Categorization technology (RAIC) will enable rapid object labeling, AI modeling, and Earth Observation object detection by analyzing large, multidimensional imagery datasets. 

In order to achieve optimal operational value, customers require ways to rapidly find and identify objects, and extract key insights from imagery data with minimal human machine interaction. Synthetaic empowers ad hoc labeling and searching through a new approach of massive data scale processing and AI model building. The technology also allows non-expert labelers to annotate objects of interest, and build and run detection AI models in minutes instead of days or weeks.

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NASA Selects 14 Early Stage Innovations from US Universities for R&D

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Each year NASA selects and funds a number of university researchers to mature game-changing space technologies. The multi-year research and development projects could help develop super-cold space refrigerators and innovate ways to deal with hazardous lunar dust, among other objectives.

In late 2020, NASA selected 14 university-led research proposals to study early-stage technologies relevant to these topics. Each selection will receive up to $650,000 in grants from NASA’s Space Technology Research Grants program over up to three years, giving the university teams the time and resources to iterate multiple designs and solutions.

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New Funding for Innovative Space Tech to Help Solve Problems on Earth

Space tech to make buildings more efficient, reduce ship carbon emissions and help preserve historical sites are among new projects receiving government funding.

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Through the UK Space Agency, the government is giving a cash injection to 5 projects specifically designed to bring together UK business expertise with universities to help build space solutions to global problems, on UK soil.

One of the projects, involving the University of Southampton, will use artificial intelligence to automatically detect buried archaeological remains on satellite imagery, providing construction companies with higher accuracy at an earlier stage. This will save them time and money during the planning permission process and help them to reduce their carbon footprint.

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Government Funds UK Companies at the Forefront of Space Innovation

21 UK organisations have been awarded a share of over £7 million of funding to put the UK at the forefront of the latest advances in space innovation

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The cash injection is going to high-risk, high-reward projects that support companies and universities with radical ideas for how we tackle climate change through Earth Observation or address satellite communications challenges, from providing greater connectivity to remote places to increasing the efficiency of our homes.

Projects set for the cash boost include The Open University who will use the money to create the UK’s first Precision Forestry tool, TreeView, which will support efforts to tackle the climate emergency through detailed measurement of tree-planting initiatives aimed at increasing carbon dioxide removal.

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NASA Awards Prizes to Six Startup Companies in Entrepreneur’s Challenge

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Science Mission Directorate has awarded prize funding of $100,000 each to six entrepreneurial startup companies under its pilot Entrepreneur’s Challenge  program for concepts ranging from machine learning to enable exploration and other technologies to new ways to build instruments to study the universe.

NASA partnered with Starburst, the global aerospace hub, to jointly launch a pilot program to engage entrepreneurs.

The challenge’s purpose is to invite fresh ideas for development of new instruments and technologies to advance the agency’s science exploration goals and increase participation by entrepreneurial companies in the agency’s technology portfolio.

For the inaugural Entrepreneur’s Challenge, the technical focus areas were:

  • Advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence for autonomous spacecraft and surface rovers, and for Earth observation and disaster management
  • Advanced mass spectrometry for detection of the elements necessary for life and other science applications by using instrumentation beyond what is currently available in terms of low-power and low-mass and using cutting edge materials or components to innovate in sampling technology and processes
  • Quantum sensors that enable high-precision assessments of gravity, magnetic fields, dark energy and other measurements to support NASA scientific discoveries

The competition was conducted in three rounds. In the first round, nearly 80 submissions were sent in from companies nationwide and a judging panel selected 15 ideas to advance. The next round was a virtual event held July 29, 2020, where selectees presented their ideas to a judging panel of NASA program managers. The judges selected 10 companies for awards of $20,000 each.

In the final round, the participants worked to refine their concepts and gave their final presentations Oct. 22 as part of the Innovation and Opportunity Conference held by NASA’s Small Business Innovative Research/Small Business Technology Transfer program. Six of the companies received an additional $80,000 in prize funding as determined by the same panel of judges from the previous round.

“This is a program that provides companies opportunities to showcase innovative technology and inject new and creative solutions of interest to NASA and its mission,” said Paul Mahaffy, one of the challenge judges and the director of the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “As technologies for the mass spectrometers mature for flight, these could be game changing.”

The following companies were selected as winners of the Entrepreneur’s Challenge:

  • Cognitive Space, Houston
  • Evermore Intelligence, Philadelphia
  • MOBILion, Chadds Fords, Pennsylvania
  • Trace Matters Scientific, Somerville, Massachusetts
  • Guardion Technologies, Burlington, Massachusetts
  • Cold Quanta, Boulder, Colorado

To learn more about the Entrepreneur’s Challenge, and to receive notifications regarding future events, go to:

https://nasa-science-challenge.com

For more information about NASA’s science technology activities, visit:

https://science.nasa.gov/

Fregata Space to Apply Satellite Technology to Prevent 8 Million Tons of Plastics from Ending up in the Oceans Each Year

  • The company has developed a solution to save the more than 33,000 dollars per ton that cleaning our seas represents today.
  • Using satellite images and Machine Learning technologies, it detects the volume of waste, manages its removal and subsequent auction.

LISBON (Fregata Space PR) — Fregata Space, the company owned by Sateliot and that transforms satellite images into high-resolution information and high predictive value , uses the New Space ecosystem, as well as its own Big Data and Machine Learning technologies to prevent more 8 million tons of plastics end up in the oceans each year .

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L3Harris to Support Development of Artificial Intelligence Systems for DOD Programs

  • Supports U.S. defense applications; increases system efficiency and capacity
  • Demonstrates innovative artificial intelligence/machine learning interface
  • Automates image and video analysis making full use of data collected

MELBOURNE, Fla. — L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) will help the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) develop artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) systems to help reduce the amount of time it takes to decipher usable intelligence from increasing amounts of data collected from space and airborne assets.

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NOAA, Google to Apply AI to Environmental Monitoring, Weather Prediction

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service (NESDIS) has signed an agreement with Google to explore the benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) for enhancing NOAA’s use of satellite and environmental data.

Under this three-year Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreement, NESDIS and Google will pilot specific AI- and ML-related projects to amplify NOAA’s environmental monitoring, weather forecasting, climate research, and technical innovation. 

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Machine-learning Nanosats to Inform Global Trade

Spire’s machine-learning capable nanosat (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — The latest batch of tiny satellites to monitor trade on Earth from space have launched.

The Glaswegian-built nanosatellites join a fleet of about 100 objects in low Earth orbit that help to predict the movement of the world’s resources, so that businesses and governments can make informed decisions.

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Fifty New Planets Confirmed in Machine Learning First

  • New machine learning algorithm designed by astronomers and computer scientists from University of Warwick confirms new exoplanets in telescope data
  • Sky surveys find thousands of planet candidates, and astronomers have to separate the true planets from fake ones
  • Algorithm was trained to distinguish between signs of real planets and false positives
  • New technique is faster than previous techniques, can be automated, and improved with further training

WARWICK, UK (University of Warwick PR) — Fifty potential planets have had their existence confirmed by a new machine learning algorithm developed by University of Warwick scientists.

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