Engineers work on FSSCat/Phi-sat-1, the first satellite with onboard artificial intelligence thanks to its Intel Movidius Myriad 2 VPU. (Credit: Tim Herman/Intel Corporation)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Intel PR) — As ubiquitous as artificial intelligence has become in modern life — from boosting our understanding of the cosmos to surfacing entertaining videos on your phone — AI hasn’t yet found its way into orbit.
That is until Sept. 2, when an experimental satellite about the size of a cereal box was ejected from a rocket’s dispenser along with 45 other similarly small satellites. The satellite, named PhiSat-1, is now soaring at over 17,000 mph (27,500 kmh) in sun-synchronous orbit about 329 miles (530 km) overhead.
PhiSat-1 contains a new hyperspectral-thermal camera and onboard AI processing thanks to an Intel® Movidius Myriad 2 Vision Processing Unit (VPU) — the same chip inside many smart cameras and even a $99 selfie drone here on Earth. PhiSat-1 is actually one of a pair of satellites on a mission to monitor polar ice and soil moisture, while also testing intersatellite communication systems in order to create a future network of federated satellites.
The first problem the Myriad 2 is helping to solve? How to handle ...