RIT Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Lab teams with Rendered.ai to power synthetic data with high accuracy sensor simulation

Example of simulated single band satellite image output created in DIRSIG that will be available through Rendered.ai. (image Credit: RIT DIRS Laboratory.ai)

The effort will enable US customers to use the DIRSIG™ model with Rendered.ai’s cloud capabilities to generate Earth Observation datasets for AI training

BELLEVUE, Wash. and ROCHESTER, N.Y. (Rendered.ai PR) — Rendered.ai, the leading platform for physics-based synthetic data, and the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing (DIRS) Laboratory today announced a collaboration to combine the physics-driven accuracy of the DIRSIG synthetic imagery model with Rendered.ai’s cloud-based platform for high volume synthetic data generation.

Machine Learning (ML) algorithms using Computer Vision (CV) data provide a key tool for exploiting the rapidly expanding capability and content of Earth Observations (EO) collection and analytics companies around the world. Rendered.ai provides a platform as a service (PaaS) for data scientists and CV engineers to scalably produce large, configurable synthetic CV datasets in the cloud for training Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ML systems.

The DIRSIG model produces a range of simulated output representing passive single-band, multi-spectral, or hyper-spectral imagery from the visible through the thermal infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. DIRSIG is widely used to test algorithms and to train analysts on simulated standard imagery products. The Rendered.ai team has built simulators for visible light and synthetic aperture radar (SAR), however DIRSIG’s breadth of capability and ongoing investment by granting agencies will provide qualified Rendered.ai customers a much wider range of field-tested and production-quality sensor modeling technology.

“DIRSIG has been providing synthetic imagery to expert customers for decades,” said Scott Brown, Ph.D., principal scientist and project lead. “Our collaboration with Rendered.ai enables us to bring our proven capability to a wider audience at a time when satellite and other forms of remote sensing data collection are rapidly expanding.”

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Hydrosat Raises $10 Million Seed Round to Assess Climate Change From Space

Funding led by OTB Ventures for thermal infrared satellite constellation

WASHINGTON (Hydrosat PR) — Hydrosat, the geospatial data and analytics company, announces a new Seed Round raising $10M to create its thermal infrared satellite constellation. Today’s funding brings Hydrosat’s total capital raised to over $15M. The oversubscribed venture round was led by OTB Ventures, a leading European venture firm with a dedicated space investment vehicle, OTB Space Program I. Freeflow Ventures, Cultivation Capital, Santa Barbara Venture Partners, and Expon Capital also participated in the round.

Hydrosat began as a satellite company monitoring the water cycle to rapidly detect environmental stress brought about by climate change. Recent climate disasters, ranging from drought on the West Coast to flash floods on the East Coast of the United States, illustrates the growing importance of this technology as the world’s major governments meet this month for the United Nations COP26 Climate Change Conference.

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NASA Selects University Teams to Develop Moon, Mars Mission Design Ideas

NASA, in partnership with the National Space Grant Foundation, has selected six university teams to develop innovative design ideas that will help NASA advance and execute its Moon to Mars exploration objectives. 

The selections are a part of the 2022 Moon to Mars eXploration Systems and Habitation (M2M X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge, sponsored by NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) division. The winning teams will be given monetary awards ranging from $15,000-$50,000 to assist them in designing and producing studies, research findings, or functional products that could advance capabilities and lower technology risks related to NASA’s Moon to Mars space exploration missions. 

This year’s winning M2M X-Hab Challenge teams will design, manufacture, assemble, test, and demonstrate functional prototype subsystems and innovations that enable increased functionality for human space exploration missions in the following areas: 

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NIAC Phase II Award: Diffractive Lightsails

Diffractive lightsails (Credit: Grover Swartzlander)

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program
Phase II Award: Up to $500,000 for 2 Years

Diffractive Lightsails
Grover Swartzlander
Rochester Institute of Technology

Solar sails are propelled by the free and abundant momentum afforded by sunlight. Propulsion and navigation are achieved by directing reflected or transmitted light away from the natural direction of sunlight. The magnitude and direction of this radiation pressure force depends on factors such as the light deflection angle, the angle of the sail with respect to the sun, and the distance from the sun. Sail areas spanning hundreds of square meters have been envisioned for nearly 100 years for a wide range of space missions that are not practical for chemical rockets.

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NIAC Phase I Awards for Advanced Propulsion

The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program recently awarded 25 grants for the development of visionary new technologies. Here we’re going to take a closer look at three Phase I awards focused on advanced propulsion.

PROCSIMA: Diffractionless Beamed Propulsion for Breakthrough Interstellar Missions
Chris Limbach
Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station

Advanced Diffractive MetaFilm Sailcraft
Grover Swartzlander
Rochester Institute of Technology

Radioisotope Positron Propulsion
Ryan Weed
Positron Dynamics

Each award is worth up to $125,000 for a nine-month study. Descriptions of the awards are below.
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NASA Invests in Shapeshifters, Biobots & Other Visionary Technology


WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — NASA is investing in technology concepts that include meteoroid impact detection, space telescope swarms, and small orbital debris mapping technologies that may one day be used for future space exploration missions.

The agency selected 25 early-stage technology proposals that have the potential to transform future human and robotic exploration missions, introduce new exploration capabilities, and significantly improve current approaches to building and operating aerospace systems.

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