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ESA team blasts Intel’s new AI chip with radiation at CERN

2018-11-29 16:35:27
Thursday 16:50:23
November 29 2018

ESA team blasts Intel’s new AI chip with radiation at CERN

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“By autonomously figuring out the distance of an object from a camera and how fast it is moving it can take many more and better images. This also offers a means of enhancing guidance, navigation and control - for instance to capture drifting items of space debris.

“And it could let us overcome the performance bottleneck faced by imaging instruments on CubeSats and other small satellites. Low data downlink bandwidth due to a small antenna size and limited power levels stops us accessing all the imagery we could acquire.

“The Myriad 2 requires less than a watt of power, and would also let instruments identify features of interest autonomously - for instance, spotting sudden flood events or forest fires, then realising these need to be sent down to the ground.”

Like all candidate hardware to be flown in space, it first needs to be tested against radiation: space is riddled with charged particles from the Sun and further out in the cosmos. An agreement with CERN gives access to the most intense beam of ultra-high energy heavy ions available - short of travelling into orbit.

ESA worked with Irish firm Ubotica Technologies to put chips in a path of an experimental beamline fed by the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) particle accelerator. Located in a circular tunnel nearly 7 km in circumference, the SPS is CERN’s second largest accelerator after the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which the SPS feeds into in turn.

The team donned hard hats and ventured into a ground floor ‘cave’ surrounded by protective concrete blocks to place items in the beam path, retreating upstairs before the beam was fired. The results are now under study.

more info: Ubotica Technologies -

Source by ESA

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