Weekly GEOINT Community News

Google Maps Adds Imagery of Planets and Moons; Another AI Breakthrough for AlphaGo; Orbit Logic Software Selected for NASA Wallops Station; Orbital Witness wins Airbus’ Global Earth Observation Challenge


Google Maps Adds Imagery of Planets and Moons

Google Maps updated its universe last week to include imagery of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Pluto, and numerous planetary moons. Constructed in part from photos taken by the Cassini satellite, the new models enable users to fly over the frozen plains of Enceladus, the methane lakes of Titan, and the massive crater of Mimas. Several of the models were assembled by astronomical artist Bjorn Jonsson using imagery from NASA and the European Space Agency.

Another AI Breakthrough for AlphaGo

AlphaGo Zero (AGZ), an updated version of Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo AI that defeated the world’s greatest Go player, recently made a major breakthrough by mastering Go without a lesson from a human teacher. In a tournament that pitted the two programs against each other, AGZ was victorious 100 games to none. AGZ refined its neural network using a reinforcement learning technique in which it repeatedly played Go against itself referencing only the rules of the game and no human data.

Orbit Logic Software Selected for NASA Wallops Station

Kratos Defense Systems selected Orbit Logic software to update the scheduling solution at the NASA Wallops Ground Station. The software will include Orbit Logic STK Scheduler for contact deconfliction, STK Pro for modeling, and the Online Viewer for satellite operator users. The new scheduling solution will improve automation and operability for satellite scheduling and pass execution, which will help support the increasing number of satellites using the 18-meter ASGS antenna at Wallops.

Orbital Witness wins Airbus’ Global Earth Observation Challenge

Airbus named British startup Orbital Witness the winner of its Global Earth Observation Challenge, a four-month competition to create added value for new businesses. Orbital Witness’ proposed solution would use satellite imagery to supplement legal due diligence in real estate. Orbital Witness will receive technical and business coaching from Airbus as well as a €50,000 voucher for the acquisition of satellite data.

Photo Credit: Google

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