ESA's Φ-SAT-2 Challenge – Call for Proposals

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Organisation: ESA

As part of its initiative to promote the development of radically innovative technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities onboard Earth Observation (EO) missions, the European Space Agency (ESA) announces an opportunity for the EO community to present cubesat-based ideas to be assessed for a potential Φ-sat-2 mission. This opportunity is open to “economic operators” – including, among others, industry, research institutes and academia – from the ESA Member States plus Canada and Slovenia participating in the FutureEO-1 Programme, which is tabled for subscription at ESA Ministerial Conference Space19+.

The Φ-sat-2 mission will be used to demonstrate the AI enabling capability for new useful innovative EO techniques of relevance to EO user communities. The overall objective is to address innovative mission concepts, fostering novel architectures or sensing that enable to meet user-driven science and/or applications by means of onboard processing. The latter will be based on state-of-the-art AI techniques and onboard AI-accelerator processors.

Building upon the experience from the development of Φ-sat-1 experiment, the Agency is soliciting ideas for missions to be implemented according to ECSS (European Cooperation for Space Standardization) standards and requirements tailored for cubesat missions .

Mission candidates will be selected by the Agency on the basis of their innovation and capability to demonstrate the disruptive potential of onboard AI for EO according to the criteria defined in this Call, as explained hereafter.