What is AI Satellite Technology?

First, let’s define what exactly artificial intelligence is. AI is a type of technology that allows computers to perform tasks that usually require human intelligence. Now satellites are devices that orbit a large celestial body from space, they are sent to communicate with Earth or to discover more about space. So in 2018, the CEO of Planet Labs, Will Marshall, once asked, “What if you could search the surface of Earth the way you can search the internet?”

Today it is possible to do this and we now call it AI satellite technology!

Droid and moon and satellite with the words AI Satellite Tech

Why do we need AI for satellites?

AI is a key tool for helping scientists understand the data that satellites collect and the possible solutions that are available. AI is able to do this by analyzing and recognizing patterns in our space technology data and using those algorithms to make scientific predictions. Scientists also use it to monitor land back on earth which can aid in our agriculture, urban planning, transportation, disaster management, climate change, and even wildlife conservation!

How do AI satellites aid our agriculture?

AI satellites can predict population increases, which shows scientists if there is a need for higher agriculture production. AI satellites can also provide solutions for crop health and solutions for improving production targets. This technology is able to use its algorithms to forecast crop production, crops, stress, waterlogging, production yields, and even tree grading.

AI Satellite mapping of agriculture in Morocco

AI Agriculture Mapping of Morocco by Mapbox

How do AI satellites aid wildlife conservation?

AI satellites aid wildlife conservation by decreasing illegal activity. This technology uses past history of illegal activity like poaching to create realistic predictions for the future. This method prevents poaching attacks from happening at a much faster rate than most scientists can. They can cut down time spent on manual data entries and collection of wildlife audio, which allows scientists to focus their research on more complex efforts. AI can monitor wildlife and their environment which could potentially reduce the amount of endangered species on Earth.

AI Satellite image of wildlife monitoring of Caribou

Wildlife Monitoring of Caribou Migration by Satellite Imaging Co.

Why are AI satellites better than traditional satellites?

Traditionally, satellites collect data and send it back down to Earth. Not only does this method take a long time to reach Earth, but it also captures data that can be irrelevant to the mission. With AI satellites we are able to use technology that sifts out irrelevant information and totally eliminates the process of sending and receiving directions. They are so smart that they are able to avoid asteroids and space debris. AI satellites are also more cost-effective as they are self-cleaning, generate greater profits, and can run their own health assessments. Even the production of AI satellites saves money. Their missions take less battery power which in return allows for an extended mission and more extensive data collection.

Are there currently any AI satellites in space?

An AI satellite named WonderJourney was recently launched in Mongolia this month. This satellite mission will be able to locate and predict possible pest disease outbreaks, the levels of soil moisture, and even forest fires. The algorithms in this device can easily recognize landmarks such as forests or oceans and can search an area of almost four thousand square miles. These satellites are faster at tracking land and only take a matter of hours whereas traditional satellites need months. The developer of WonderJourney, Chen Junrui, has a goal of establishing interactions with the satellite like you would an assistant, and creating a technology that can warn scientists of possible natural disasters. It is predicted that twenty of these satellites will be in space by 2024!