The International Space Station is expected to host the revolutionary camera technology from the University of Western Sydney to study the atmospheric conditions that affect communications systems and high-altitude aircraft through a new partnership with the US Air Force Academy.
The event-based camera is built on Intel Loihi neuromorphic chips designed to mimic known biological processes to operate more efficiently and produce more information with less data.
The system pixels operate independently of each other and only record changes in the amount of incoming light, which means that it can capture a higher dynamic range than standard imaging sensors and is optimal for tracking objects. movement on static backgrounds.
Now he will be put to work to study transient light events (TLE) from space.
The principal investigator at the International Center for Neuromorphic Systems at the WSU, Associate Professor Gregory Cohen, said that despite the ability of TLEs to impact the Earth’s atmosphere and the potential to disrupt critical global communication systems and high altitude, little is known about their behavior.
“TLEs occur over large thunderstorms and appear as lightning bolts rising from the clouds into the atmosphere, instead of the usual lightning bolts that descend to the ground,” he said.
“These cameras have never been used this way before, technology is a really important innovation, developed in west Sydney, which we will seek to advance with the Australian space industry.”
The hardware for the system is currently being assembled and tested in parallel at the University of Western Sydney and the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, with a launch date scheduled for early next year.
Data collected from the ISS will be sent to WSU for research and analysis.
The university’s assistant vice chancellor for research, business and international, Professor Deborah Sweeney, said the WSU is also exploring other applications for neuromorphic technologies.
“The project with the International Space Station is just one of many applications of neuromorphic systems – the University is working with government, high-tech partners and local businesses to use this platform to solve world challenges real and create a new industry, “she said. .
Cohen said iTnews when the camera debuted last year that its high dynamic range and its ability to effectively hide unnecessary data from static sections of the field of view means that the system is easily applicable to satellite tracking – and that it can even operate during the day.
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