BAE Systems announces space-based data analysis and processing with new satellite cluster
BAE Systems plans to launch its first multi-sensor ISR satellite cluster into low Earth orbit in 2024.
The Azalea cluster will use a ‘range of sensors to collect visual, radar and radio frequency (RF) data’, the company announced on 7 September.
Data will be analysed by onboard machine learning on edge processors ‘to deliver the resulting intelligence securely, anywhere in the world while still in orbit’, BAE Systems added.
In contrast, it is common practice today to transfer terabytes of data for processing and analysis on the ground — so performing these functions in space should save time.
Dave Armstrong, group MD of BAE Systems Digital Intelligence, said: ‘The launch of Azalea in 2024 will be a major step forward for the UK’s sovereign space capability.’
BAE Systems added the capability to design, build, launch and operate satellites after it acquired UK company In-Space Missions in 2021.
The company is also working with ICEYE to access the latter’s advanced synthetic aperture radar technology for inclusion in the Azalea cluster.
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