Mission critical: Proekspert helps space missions last longer

How our team works to increase the longevity of mission critical equipment for the European Space Agency.

Twenty years in space?

Space missions are trending longer, with missions lasting 15 to 20 years becoming more common. This puts higher demands on the operational life and robustness of mission critical equipment. One essential piece of equipment is the reaction wheel, which plays a role in a spacecraft’s attitude control. (Attitude is the angular difference between an aircraft’s axis and the earth’s horizon line – throw the term around to impress your friends.)

Machine learning to monitor anomalous behavior

Proekspert’s team has created a reaction wheel monitoring tool using AI, which makes reaction wheels last longer. More techspeak for the cocktail party: We are mapping machine learning and advanced signal processing techniques for the monitoring and analysis of anomalous behavior of reaction wheels from a spacecraft’s telemetry data and ground tests.

We help make ESA equipment last longer

The project’s result means an increased life expectancy of mission critical equipment for the European Space Agency. The anticipation and prediction of anomalies, coupled with fast intervention, is especially relevant for critical faults, which could potentially disable or break mission critical equipment and place a mission in danger. Our solution detects these anomalies and categorizes them as known or unknown based on causes or symptoms.

Earth applications from space

Our engineers of course get excited about space projects because, well, it’s space. But what we learn will also find application in earth-bound businesses, like OEMs which use rotating machine components. Another project in the works with the ESA concerns machine learning models for object recognition from satellite images. And we expect somehow for that project to find a place on earth. Whatever category our work falls into, we’re proud to say it not only makes our planet safer, but now goes well beyond.

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