A number of in-space software applications has been already trialled on the unique ESA satellite, called OPS-SAT, launched in 2019. Here is short list of some of the most notable ones:
- ContainerWatch. To monitor ocean surface for floating intermodal containers. To reduce the computational resources required to an extent that the application can run as a background task.
- Mobile Satellite Imager. To explore issues in real time satellite imaging from a mobile field operative. To develop a mobile phone application, server infrastructure necessary to queue requests and allow real time control of attitude and camera.
- Autonomous Optical Navigation for Faint Object Detection, Identification & Tracking. Autonomous detection of faint, far planet (asteroid missions) and faint, close object (e.g. GEO) (debris removal missions, MSR)
- Cloud detection on-board. Take a picture. Then run a detection algorithm and see if we can preprocess the image on-board. Output an image with clouds highlighted.
- AI in Space. Proof-of-concept of the use of artificial intelligence machine learning algorithms for performing satellite autonomous tasking. Execution of autonomous satellite tasking for taking images on preselected ground targets under specific conditions (attitude, illumination)
- Onboard real-time aggregated surface analysis. Autonomously identifying and cataloguing regions of interest on distant astronomical bodies. Reduce transmission volume required to identify regions of interest on distant bodies, identifying possible landing sites for an asteroid lander via computer vision methods.
- On-board autonomy or formation flying testing. Develop a twin-sat formation flying simulation in EuroSim on Linux. Put it on OPS-SAT, so that it can ‘communicate’ with the simulated sat.
- Development and test of satellite to satellite (S2S) communication subsystem for small satellite onboard software update. The idea is to use the commercial space based communication systems for small satellite onboard software update.