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CGI and Goonhilly Earth Station to exploit AI to improve data transmission rates in lunar and deep space missions

CGI and Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd. (Goonhilly) have been awarded a joint contract to advance the development of Receiver Chain Optimisation (RCO) technology using advanced real-time Artificial Intelligence (AI) and in-the-loop machine-learning (ML) techniques, thereby enhancing data transmission rates for lunar and deep space missions. The new development activity extends the scope of an existing contract under the ARTES (Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems) Core Competitiveness programme by the European Space Agency (ESA), and supported by the UK Space Agency (UKSA).

This initiative is an example of CGI’s commitment and investment in the Responsible use of AI; in this initiative AI and ML will increase efficiency, reliability and safety in deep space missions. CGI will work closely with Goonhilly to optimise the performance of its Cornwall-based lunar and deep space antenna receiver chain.
Matthew Cosby, Chief Technology Officer at Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd., said: “This AI-driven technology has the potential to strengthen our already excellent lunar and deep space communications capabilities – improving our offering for customers by increasing the amount of precious data we can bring to Earth with each spacecraft pass. Research continues on all elements of the communications chain to maximise the returned data from spacecraft. By using information from all parts of the receiver chain throughout the decoding mechanism, we have the potential to enhance the quality of the data at the end of the process. Training the AI techniques on real science data enables the complete system to learn and correct data that would normally be discarded.”

Jaime Reed, Vice-President for CGI’s UK and Australia Space Data Platforms and Applications, said: “Our Receiver Chain Optimisation technology provides a novel error correction technique for satellite signal chains leveraging the power of machine learning and CGI’s proven experience in implementing AI, as well as our new global investment to advance responsible AI adoption. This new technology, based on years of R&D, extends our capacity to help satcom and ground station operators increase their revenues and improve customer experience. Our team is working on a family of projects which will enable the Space industry to be at the forefront of exploiting AI in operations in the years to come.”

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