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The first satellite with AI onboard is now in orbit, and its tech could completely change how we respond to wildfires

The first satellite with AI onboard is now in orbit, and its tech could completely change how we respond to wildfires

Researchers inspect the computing and camera assembly of the FSSCat/Phi-sat-1 satellite.
Tim Herman/Intel Corporation




This week the European Space Agency (ESA) and Intel announced they had successfully put the first satellite with on-board AI-processing into space, PhiSat-1.




The PhiSat-1 uses Intel's Movidius Myriad 2 chip, which was not originally designed for space travel.




PhiSat-1's on-board AI is able to select and automatically delete photos of Earth if they are too obscured by cloud.




AI has become mainstream on Earth, but getting it onto satellites has been a huge challenge, and PhiSat-1 could pave the way for innovations in how satellites detect natural disasters, or even how we communicate with Mars rovers.




Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.


On September 2, a satellite the size of a cereal box took off for space.Names PhiSat-1, its mission was to monitor polar ice and soil moisture, making it a?? at least superficially a?? a fairly unglamorous piece of kit.But for the satellite's creators a?? the European Space Agency (ESA), chip giant Intel, and Irish robotics company Ubotica a?? this launch represented months of work, and had been postponed by a failed rocket launch, two natural disasters, and a global pandemic.It was also a huge technological leap forward.
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