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Colossus's AI-enabled hardware achieves space heritage aboard Loft's YAM-6 satellite
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Colossus's AI-enabled hardware achieves space heritage aboard Loft's YAM-6 satellite
by Clarence Oxford
Los Angeles CA (SPX) May 29, 2024

Colossus, formerly known as Zephyr Computing Systems, is at the forefront of the artificial intelligence (AI) computing hardware market for space, having achieved space heritage for its radiation-tolerant processor as part of Loft Orbital's YAM-6 satellite. This customer milestone brings Colossus's radiation-tolerant, GPU-based processor, Kestrel, to TRL-9, confirming a leap in AI-enabled space computing.

Space's challenging environment has historically constrained the use of contemporary computer hardware essential for managing data processing and intricate AI and ML workloads onboard satellites. Yet, the potential benefits are substantial, with AI projected to drive growth in the space industry, anticipated to reach a value of $1.8 trillion by 2035, as per McKinsey.

Colossus's onboard processor system, Kestrel, took flight aboard YAM-6 to low-earth orbit on the SpaceX Transporter-10 dedicated rideshare mission from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, US on March 4th.

Jason Cerundolo, co-founder and CEO of Colossus, emphasizes, "Getting high-performance computing to work beyond earth's surface is a tough challenge, so new hardware approaches are needed to meet the data and software demands of today's advanced sensing methods, space infrastructure, and autonomous operations." He continues, "We see a near future where data generated in space is increasingly used in space. Commercializing AI-ready, radiation-tolerant hardware for computation and storage is a crucial piece of the puzzle we are solving at Colossus."

Loft selected Colossus's Kestrel system to serve as a Compute Resource for Virtual Missions. Keith Becker, Director of Embedded Systems, Flight Products from Loft states, "Loft's Virtual Mission service allows customers to access in-space data, and Colossus's onboard processor technology helps enable this new paradigm for our customers."

Related Links
Kestrel GPU-based processor
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

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