Successful Delft Space Institute-TNO-SRON ‘Innovate Your Space’ symposium on December 8th 2020

With more than 100 participants, the 2020 edition of the DSI-TNO-SRON ‘Innovate Your Space’ symposium themed ‘Smart Space’ was again a success, even in an online environment.
The theme of this symposium, “Smart Space”, sparked new perspectives and insightful discussion points on the needs, technologies, and approaches for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the Space Sector and beyond. It was a morning filled with impressive keynote talks, innovative pitches and a fruitful panel discussion.

The symposium started with a warm welcome by the hosts of the symposium Eberhard Gill, Director at TU Delft Space Institute, Kees Buijsrogge, Director Space & Scientific Instrumentation at TNO, and Avri Selig, Advisor of the General Director of SRON.

First keynote was given by Raffaella Franco, who is the co-lead of the ESA Competence Domain: Digital Engineering, which promotes the consistent use of digital methods and tools throughout the space missions development process and across the supply chain.

Her keynote was followed by a pitch round in which six young researches presented their work with the following topics: Remote sensing of damage on Antarctic ice shelves, Automatic verifiable design of swarm behaviors,  Deep learning in space, Using neural networks in atmospheric remote sensing, Identification of coal mine locations using deep learning techniques and Ultra-thin sails for interstellar probes.

Then the second keynote speaker Thomas Bäck of the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science spoke about generating innovations by optimization and learning. His talk was followed by a panel discussion with  prominent members of the Dutch Space community Eelco van der Eijk, Jeroen Rotteveel, John Schmitz, Michael Wise, and Raffaella Franco. The following three propositions were discussed during the panel discussion ‘Out of all AI technology, Machine Learning tools will drive new space technology’, ‘Every space organisation should have an AI coordinator in its Management Team within five years’, and ‘For each of our organisations to benefit from AI we should have a joint and dedicated AI task force’. These propositions led to inspiring talks and exchange of knowledge.

We would like to thank all participants for their enthusiasm and sharing of their knowledge during the symposium and we hope to see them all again next year!