Gliwice, Poland, April 11, 2024 – KP Labs announces the successful capture of the first hyperspectral images by the Intuition-1 satellite, which provides detailed observations of the equatorial region. This development and on-board data processing supported by AI highlights a significant advancement in Earth observation capabilities, enhancing data analysis for various scientific and commercial applications. 

In the latest advancement of space technology, the focus has turned towards enhancing onboard data processing capabilities, a move that promises increased operational efficiency and a leap forward in space-based applications. The Intuition-1 satellite, launched in November 2023 aboard SpaceX Falcon 9, exemplifies this progress by seamlessly merging hyperspectral imaging with onboard AI for data processing. This represents a significant milestone in space technology, establishing a new standard for future missions. 

Hyperspectral imaging is an advanced imaging technique that captures a wide array of light across hundreds of bands, far beyond the capacity of traditional imaging systems. Unlike standard RGB imagery, which uses three wide bands (red, green, and blue), hyperspectral imaging collects information across the electromagnetic spectrum dividing it into a number of narrow spectral bands (Intuition-1’s sensor covers 192 bands), including wavelengths invisible to the human eye. This rich dataset provides a detailed ‘spectral signature’ of the materials in the image, allowing for the precise identification and analysis of various substances, vegetation types, minerals, and other materials on the Earth’s surface. 

The application of hyperspectral imaging extends across numerous fields, offering significant benefits for environmental science, agriculture, forestry, mining, and oceanography, among others. For instance, in agriculture, hyperspectral images can help identify crop stress, optimize water use, and improve soil management. In environmental monitoring, this technology can detect ecosystem changes, track pollution, and assist in disaster management. The comprehensive data captured by hyperspectral imaging can also play a crucial role in mineral exploration by identifying specific mineral compositions over large areas, thus aiding in resource management and exploitation. 

Intuition-1’s onboard data processing marks a significant shift, reducing the time and resources required for satellite image analysis. It filters and processes data in orbit, sending only essential information to Earth, thus streamlining bandwidth use and speeding up data delivery. This efficient method ensures quick access to crucial data for those on the ground.  

“Using the Leopard Data Processing Unit (DPU) and leveraging machine learning algorithms, Intuition-1 can autonomously detect, classify, and analyze various surface phenomena, improving the accuracy and relevance of the data provided. This state-of-the-art system, designed to enhance the precision and relevance of gathered data, signifies a substantial advancement in AI-driven space technology. Leopard’s capacity to independently sift through vast amounts of data and identify key information has far-reaching implications for resource management, climate research, and sustainable development efforts.” – explains Michal Zachara, COO at KP Labs.   

“The development and successful deployment of Intuition-1,  is an excellent accomplishment for KP Labs. The ability of Intuition-1 to autonomously process and analyze data while orbiting Earth is a game-changer. It demonstrates our dedication to precision and excellence in our field. Our journey from conception to launch was filled with challenges, learning opportunities, and moments of triumph. We met  them with determination, and that’s why this project not only gave us great expertise but also strengthened our team. We believe that the innovations we’re currently working on will continue to revolutionize space technology and set new standards in the industry,” – he summarizes.  


About KP Labs 

Founded in 2016, KP Labs is a New Space company with a mission to accelerate space exploration by advancing autonomous spacecraft operation and robotic technology. They operate as a comprehensive provider, offering an integrated package of hardware, software, and algorithms developed in-house for on-board data processing. Currently, KP Labs is carrying out more than 25 projects for ESA, NASA, and private entities, actively participating in space missions within international consortia. The company employs about 80 specialists and has the status of Research and Development Centre granted by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland.