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Enhanced mission autonomy through on-board Artificial Intelligence for next generation spacecraft

Project description

More autonomous satellites thanks to onboard AI

The microsatellite and conventional satellite market is growing rapidly, supporting important services including communications and Earth observation. While other systems from industrial robots to cars are becoming increasingly autonomous, satellites have not followed this trend. The Italian SME AIKO has developed MiRAGE, the first AI-based in-flight software designed to allow increased mission autonomy for microsatellites and conventional satellites. The software will not only enable faster responses to potential problems but also slash the manpower required to command and control the satellites and their missions. The EU-funded MiRAGE project is validating the compatibility of MiRAGE with most microsatellites’ and conventional satellites’ onboard computing architectures in preparation for commercialisation.


There are currently around 1,600 active satellites orbiting around the Earth, and more than 4,500 will be launched within 2026. None of them is designed to be autonomous. For a standard mission, this turns into a time span of several hours to detect system failures, to perform orbit and attitude correction, and to identify important mission events as monitoring of forest fires, flooding, or acquisition of important scientific data. In an era where Artificial Intelligence is making cars and other systems smarter and more autonomous, at AIKO Space we have seen a huge market opportunity in endowing spacecraft with AI-based capabilities. We are a team of experts in aerospace engineering and Artificial Intelligence, and we have developed MiRAGE, the first in-flight software on the market based on AI and designed to allow increased mission autonomy for micro (< 50kg) and conventional satellites. MiRAGE has proved that an important mission indicator as the “personnel to spacecraft ratio” can be decreased by the current average value of 2.5 to 0.1 thus providing a substantial value to customers as satellite manufacturers and satellite operators. The product development roadmap is now focused on validating the compatibility of MiRAGE with most micro and conventional satellites’ onboard computing architectures (Phase 1), which will also allow us to have a more thorough assessment of the actual market potential of our solution. The following step will be to proceed with system engineering and preparation to the in-orbit validation (Phase 2) together with large prospective customers, which will pave the way to the beginning of the commercialization phase in Q4 2020. We plan to install MiRAGE in more than 250 satellites by 2022, generating a turnover of more than 8 M€ after 3 years of commercialization, and targeting EBITDA levels in the range of 45%, in line with the standard in the sector.

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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00
10123 Torino

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Nord-Ovest Piemonte Torino
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 71 429,00