Lockheed Martin Teams with USC on Small Satellite Program for AI and Machine Learning Tech

Lockheed USC small sats - Courtesy


Lockheed Martin is building mission payloads for a Space Engineering Research Center at University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute small satellite program called La Jument, which enhance Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning space technologies.

For the program, four La Jument nanosatellites — the first launching later this year — will use Lockheed Martin’s SmartSat software-defined satellite architecture on both their payload and bus. SmartSat lets satellite operators quickly change missions while in orbit with the simplicity of starting, stopping or uploading new applications.

“La Jument and SmartSat are pushing new boundaries of what is possible in space when you adopt an open software architecture that lets you change missions on the fly,” said Adam Johnson, Director of SmartSat and La Jument at Lockheed Martin Space. “We are excited to release a SmartSat software development kit (SDK) to encourage developers to write their own third-party mission apps and offer an orbital test-bed.”

The system is powered by the NVIDIA Jetson platform built on the CUDA-X capable software stack and supported by the NVIDIA JetPack software development kit, delivering AI at the edge computing capabilities to unlock advanced image and digital signal processing.

SmartSat provides on-board cyber threat detection, while the software-defined payload houses advanced optical and infrared cameras utilized by Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center to further mature and space qualify Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies. The La Jument payloads are the latest of more than 300 payloads Lockheed Martin has built for customers.