Western Sydney University builds world-first space imaging system

By on 26 February, 2019

Western Astrosite project – Event based Neuromorphic Space imaging mobile facility takes shape

Western Sydney University’s International Centre for Neuromorphic Systems (ICNS) has build a mobile event-based camera system that can deliver unprecedented temporal resolution when capturing objects in space.

Describing the unit as a mobile space situational awareness (SSA) module, director of ICNS Professor André van Schaik said that the technology had a range of applications.

“With tens of thousands of man-made objects currently orbiting in space, the risk of collision between debris, satellites and spacecraft is real. This has become a serious concern not only for organisations with a commercial interest in space, but also for national and international defence agencies.

“By using technology inspired by nature and biology, we have developed a dynamic imaging system that runs faster, computes more efficiently, uses far less power and produces less data than anything currently on the market,” he said.

The camera system developed by ICNS uses biologically-inspired event-based cameras to overcome traditional limitations of exposure and saturation, allowing the AstroSite system to capture high-speed space phenomena during the day, from the ground.

Such capabilities have obvious defence applications, with the AstroSite project’s development supported by the RAAF’s Project Jericho.

Western Sydney University’s International Centre for Neuromorphic Systems is a new research centre and part of the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development that combines expertise from the fields of electrical engineering, computer science, signal processing, and neuroscience.

The team will be displaying the AstroSite system at the Avalon air show from February 26 – March 3.

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