Microsoft, HPE partner to deliver AI, edge computing on ISS


HPE’s Spaceborne Computer-2 will be connected to Azure via NASA and the HPE ground station. It is based on the HPE Edgeline Converged Edge system, designed for tough edge environments like space.

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Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) have partnered to deliver edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and Azure cloud computing capabilities on the International Space Station (ISS).

HPE’s Spaceborne Computer-2 (SBC-2) will be connected to Azure via NASA and the HPE ground station. It is based on the HPE Edgeline Converged Edge system, designed for tough edge environments like space.

Also Read | SpaceX aims to launch ‘all-civilian’ trip into orbit

For astronauts and space explorers cloud computing technologies and advanced processing are essential, Tom Keane, VP at Microsoft Azure, said in a blog post. “Sometimes analysis needs to be done immediately at the edge where every passing moment counts, and other times the analysis is so massively complex that it can only be performed with the power of the hyperscale cloud,” he explained.

The Redmond-based company said it is assessing the development of advanced AI models to support new insights and research advancements, including plant and hydroponics analysis to support food growth and life sciences in space, weather modelling of dust storms to enable future modelling for Mars missions, and medical imaging using an ultrasound on the ISS to support astronaut healthcare.

Also Read | An unleashed Jeff Bezos will seek to shift space venture Blue Origin into hyperdrive

The collaboration aims to further accelerate space exploration by delivering state-of-the art technologies to tackle a range of data processing needs while in orbit, Dr. Mark Fernandez, Solutions Architect of Converged Edge Systems at HPE, said in a blog post, and added that it will allow space explorers to seamlessly transmit large data sets to and from Earth and benefit from an edge-to-cloud experience.

SBC-2 is scheduled to launch into orbit for the ISS on the 15th Northrop Grumman Resupply Mission to Space Station, on February 20, Microsoft noted in a blog post.

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