GMV join on £1.5M AI Space Sustainability project for UKSA


A pioneering international collaboration is exploring how Artificial Intelligence can be harnessed to improve space operations, safety, and sustainability. The University of Strathclyde’s Aerospace Centre for Excellence is leading the £1.5M initiative to accelerate the development of AI technologies. GMV in the UK is being part of this initiative together with the University of Arizona, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Waterloo in Canada, The Alan Turing Institute in the UK and other commercial space companies LMO in the UK, Nominal Systems in Australia and Columbiad in Canada.

As reported by UKSA, the project will accelerate the development of AI technologies from conception, at early technology readiness levels, to adoption in the space sector. The partnership will also pave the way for the creation of a new virtual Institute on AI for Space Safety & Sustainability which it is hoped will attract additional funding to continue the work.

The year-long project comes under the second phase of the £20 million International Bilateral Fund investments by the UK Space Agency, which will help UK organisations link up with global experts.

Alberto Águeda, Director of Space Surveillance and Traffic Management at GMV, acknowledges "the significant opportunity arising from our involvement in this groundbreaking project. Through collaboration with an international consortium, we aspire to advance artificial intelligence technologies specifically tailored for the SST sector, driving their adoption in commercial contexts. This strategic move will solidify our expertise in the field, enhance space safety, and contribute to a sustainable space environment.”

One of the key aims of the ‘AI4 Space Safety and Sustainability’ project will be to use machine learning, a form of AI, to help predict the motion of space objects, reducing the risk of collisions and improving space flight safety.

One of the biggest challenges facing the sector is congestion created by space debris - defunct man-made objects in space which no longer serve a useful function. Joining this initiative, GMV continues to increase its commitment to spatial sustainability. 

GMV has set the global standard for studying, monitoring and preventing the proliferation of space debris. Operating in this field since the late 90s, GMV has been involved in numerous projects with the ESA, the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA), the European Commission, multiple national space agencies, and several defense ministries and satellite operators worldwide. 

GMV’s extensive activity in this area has led the company to align with the urgent and consensus-driven need to address the growing congestion in the space environment and to take urgent and concrete actions to mitigate it. In 2023, for example, GMV joined the “Zero Debris Charter” initiative promoted by the European Space Agency. 

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