IBM on Thursday said it is making its satellite communications and path of space junk projects free to use.
“By open sourcing these two projects, we hope to give more people access to space tech and democratize access to space for all,” IBM said in a statement.
As more rockets are sent into space, debris from the launches, also called anthropogenic space objects (ASOs), are bound to increase.
IBM’s Space Situational Awareness(SSA) project helps in orbit determination and prediction of ASOs. The technology company aims to improve orbit prediction using Machine Learning (ML) to learn when physical models incorrectly predict an ASO’s future location.
Building a ML model to predict all of orbital dynamics is a hefty task as a lot of data is required to learn orbital mechanics.
The other project, KubeSat, is designed for swarms of cube satellites that enable multi-satellite communications. Open sourcing KubeSat means satellite swarm industry and other smaller operators can use IBM’s space tech.
“With the proliferation of satellites of all sizes in lower earth orbit in space, enormous amounts of data will be produced related to earth observation, to space traffic management, to space situational awareness,” IBM said.