AIKO, pioneering AI solutions for the space industry – ESA Commercialisation Gateway

AIKO specialises in Artificial Intelligence and Automation technologies for space applications. The company delivers state-of-the-art solutions for flight and ground mission segments with the goal of enabling autonomous space missions.

The Space industry is shifting from automatic to autonomous

Space missions mostly rely on automatic, pre-programmed capabilities: operators on ground decide the tasks the satellite should carry out, uploading the instructions onboard so that the satellite can execute them automatically. But diverse end-user needs, evolving requirements, unforeseen mission opportunities, and unexpected contingencies are increasing the unpredictability of the mission itself. It is therefore necessary to increase the adaptability and flexibility of satellites by shifting to intelligent, data-driven space operations. We are therefore witnessing the need for a transition from automatic to autonomous, where satellites can program their activities by themselves, without having to rely on continuous input from ground.

With offices in Italy and France, AIKO, one of the finalists of the ESA New Space Global Markets Challenge, is dedicated to supporting the growth of the space sector through scalable, modern, and user-friendly artificial intelligence (AI) technology that will accelerate the shift from automatic to autonomous.

The first product developed by AIKO is orbital_OLIVER, a product that allows the spacecraft to process payload and platform data, take decisions in real time, and – when needed – replan the mission to deliver the most relevant information to ground.

orbital_OLIVER: The future of autonomous operations in space

orbital_OLIVER was created to fulfil the need for spacecraft autonomy. As an intelligent onboard software, it greatly improves space missions by enabling satellites to operate with significant independence from ground control and execute complex endeavors such as timely data analysis, payload optimisation and analysis of platform telemetry.

orbital_OLIVER also supports satellite operators in the mission control centre with optimal and rapid onboard decision-making, as well as platform health monitoring. By moving onboard a significant part of the operations flow, orbital_OLIVER allows ground control to spend less time on repetitive tasks and to focus on strategic aspects of mission operations. Such a process not only reduces the human effort required, but also maximises revenue through an optimised schedule of activities.

By enabling end-to-end onboard autonomy, orbital_OLIVER opens the path to disruptive changes in space mission operations with fully autonomous satellites, enabling more efficient, less resource-intensive operations, relieving operators on ground from basic controlling activities, and ensuring satellites fully exploit their potential.

orbital_OLIVER has undergone extensive validation in orbit, receiving strong positive feedback from a selected pool of early adopters. AIKO’s ambition is to make orbital_OLIVER an essential component of future European missions.

A complete ecosystem of products

AIKO’s AI-based software products aims at revolutionising the space industry by enabling the automation of the mission control center, individual satellites and even satellite constellations. AIKO’s product portfolio, starting from orbital_OLIVER but extending to other tools as well, offers a range of complementary functionalities that enhance mission operations. These include advanced payload data processing capabilities, analysis of platform data for diagnostics and prognostics of telemetry and distributed tasking and planning for constellations. When combined, all these functionalities will open the door to truly complex but highly profitable space missions.