Embracing the Cosmos: Akida's Role in Advancing Space Tech for Daily Life

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29 Mar, 2024

Embracing the Cosmos: Akida's Role in Advancing Space Tech for Daily Life

AI and robotics are enabling safer and more efficient space exploration.

Space technology has become an essential part of our lives. From facilitating global communication and environmental monitoring to transportation and medical research, SpaceTech has pervaded various aspects of modern living, aiming to enhance our lives. At the forefront of space technology are robotic devices, which may in the future help address the interstellar exploration challenges, but today, the big focus is on potentially improving life on Earth, and more efficiently managing Space infrastructure in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). From the beginning of 2024 to March 21st, there have been 54 successful space launches into LEO, increasing the need for reliability and functionality at all times. The key goal with these advancements AI-enabled devices is to stabilize and promote the growth of the space economy while ensuring the safety of human life in its challenging environment.

This is an environment which presents a unique set of challenges: energy is at a premium, and needs to be rationed judiciously, communications to high compute clusters on earth are very limited in bandwidth and have very high latency, and yet the complex computations need to be done to rapidly resolve critical issues, the space environment is constantly changing, and we are constantly learning, which means that the equipment will have to learn and adapt too. Remotely. Intelligently. Autonomously. It will require highly efficient, high performance robotic equipment that can adapt and learn autonomously, to manage the ever-growing space infrastructure.

The recent launch of BrainChip’s Akida™ AI technology into low Earth orbit aboard the Optimus-1 spacecraft, may mark a significant leap forward in space technology, bringing the promise of space-based services more reliably to everyday life. As exciting as the potential is, it is not without challenges and risk.

Challenges of Deploying Computing Devices in Space Tech


As the frontier of space exploration becomes more of a reality, there are many technology hurdles that require innovative solutions in order to advance to the next level. Here are some key challenges and how BrainChip’s Akida can mitigate them.

Extremely Low Power in a Harsh Space Environment

Space is a vast expanse. Unlike Earth, this vacuum area lacks atmosphere, which means there's no air pressure and breathable air, and spacecraft have to be designed to optimally deliver life-critical services for those on board. However, the biggest challenge is the extremely limited amount of energy available for operation. You cannot carry too much from the earth, and the solar energy stored is limited. So, all the additional operations beyond the life-systems-critical functions have even less availability and priority when it comes to energy.

In addition, temperature extremes can affect spacecraft designs. Space tends to heat up and plummet in extreme variance. As a result, objects can heat up to very hot temperatures when exposed to the sun and freeze up when it's cold. These thermal variations can affect the device's performance. In a space environment, energy efficiency and temperature are not just valuable but essential. 

Due to a lack of Earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field, cosmic rays and solar radiation can directly impact electronic equipment, potentially damaging its architecture and components. So, any electronics need to be Rad-Hard or Radiation Hardened.

The ANT61 Brain™ computer, is designed to run autonomous robotic devices to maintain space infrastructure. Integrating BrainChip’s Akida neuromorphic technology boosts it’s capabilities while radically reducing the energy consumed and robustly handles the harsh thermal conditions. It also makes the Brain adaptable and learns with the changing conditions. This is vital for the Brain’s autonomous operation without the luxury of abundant energy resources.

Performance to Handle Intelligent Compute Tasks

This challenge is particularly significant in space tech, especially as missions become more autonomous. It is necessary for autonomous systems to perform complex tasks, such as examining satellite imagery from space, autonomous navigation, and monitoring, without relying on Earth-based computation centers. These autonomous systems must use advanced algorithms to make decisions, predict outcomes, and adapt to new information in real-time. 

In addition, these systems must be highly reliable and durable enough to operate without repairs over an extended period. They must effectively manage the thermal load of computing and be fault-tolerant to handle complex tasks without human intervention. In order to achieve these functions without constraints, cutting-edge technology is required.

In the ANT61 Brain, Akida serves as the fundamental intelligent control for the robots that carry out repair and maintenance. Akida’s energy-efficient high-performance is critical in an environment where every calculation and decision must be precise and reliable while cautiously sipping energy.

Akida also addresses latency and communication constraints. For space missions, communication is essential, but it is restricted by the size and the power need for communication radios. Given the large distances this data needs to travel with under-powered radios, there is quite a bit of lag in message and response. Akida’s ability to handle complex models effectively makes real-time operation possible, minimizing the bandwidth needed to earth-bound compute.

Adaptive Learning on the Edge

Perhaps one of the most critical features of space technology is the ability to learn and adapt remotely. Many satellites and spacecraft have limited processing memory and power, which makes implementing adaptive learning algorithms problematic. Over time, this affects critical functions and operations.

Adaptive learning is becoming critical for robotic devices to make informed decisions autonomously and in real-time. Due to limited computational resources of traditional AI technology, spacecraft and other satellite devices are incapable of real-time decision-making  and are unable to adapt to changing environmental conditions, the impact of which may be catastrophic for manned space missions but also cause failure and loss of expensive equipment.  As is evident, adaptive learning is crucial for long-duration missions where unexpected challenges may arise, and immediate Earth-based interventions are not feasible.


SpaceTech offers many benefits, from improved communications, navigation and healthcare research to agriculture, environmental and security monitoring. The successful deployment of Akida in space technology represents a ground-breaking advancement with profound implications for space exploration and everyday life on Earth. 

Akida paves the way for more sustainable, efficient, and intelligent space missions. As we continue to explore the final frontier, technologies like Akida ensure that we overcome the challenges and seize the opportunities that space offers. Space exploration is just getting started with devices like Akida, poised to safely scale the space economy with minimal human or earth-bound intervention.


[1] https://brainchip.com/

[2] https://www.wired.com/2016/02/space-is-cold-vast-and-deadly-humans-will-explore-it-anyway/