IAI unveils innovative satellite operation management system

SatGuard uses artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning methods to monitor, operate, and manage satellites, extending their life once in orbit

Yafit Ovadia 16:1725.05.21
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has unveiled its innovative system, termed SatGuard, for operating, managing, and observing communication satellites. The SatGuard system is designed to extend the life of satellites deployed into orbit, and is powered by artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning, capable of detecting anomalies and other irregularities in the satellite operations. SatGuard was developed by IAI’s Systems, Missiles and Space Group along with the government-held company’s internal Innovation Center accelerator program as well as Starburst, an international startup accelerator that focuses on the aerospace sector.


Telemetry information received from the satellites enables the system to analyze trends, identify irregularities and changes that occur in the satellite, address them, and prevent future mishaps. Testing on the new system was carried out using the Israeli and French shared Venus satellite, which tracks agricultural and environmental conditions via its Earth observation software, routinely capturing images of ground conditions with a multispectral camera, requiring updates. The Venus satellite was jointly constructed by IAI, Elbit Systems Ltd, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, and researchers at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Some measurements tested and monitored by SatGuard include testing Venus’ sub-systems navigation accuracy, external and internal temperatures, electric currents and voltages, dynamical behavior, and communication subsystems.


The SatGuard software can updated satellite services while in-orbit (illustration). Photo: IAI The SatGuard software can updated satellite services while in-orbit (illustration). Photo: IAI


“SatGuard is an innovative anomaly-analysis system that leverages big data in satellite management. Advanced machine learning, big data, and AI capabilities enabled the accelerated development of a system that provides accurate results in real-time. SatGuard will be used on satellites as well as in other lines of business, including customer service, online support, and implementation of trend analysis findings,” said Inbal Kreiss, who serves as head of the Innovation Center for IAI’s System, Missiles and Space Group.


In addition, IAI has opened an innovation center, called SPARX Innovation Lab, within the Systems, Missiles and Space Group, which is geared toward seed-round startups and aims to expand new initiatives within the group, focusing on identifying future trends in the aerospace industry.