This is AI Space Challenge organizing committee’s interview with Jia Wei from ST Engineering Geo-Insights Pte. Ltd, our sponsors. Not only the company gives a financial support, Geo-Insights also provides a special reward called “Best Technical Award”. This will be awarded to the team which demonstrates the highly technical feasibility of a proposed innovative solution to advance space exploration. The winning team of Best Technical Award will be received the trophy.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank ST Engineering Geo-Insights Pte. Ltd. for supporting our challenge. and bring you their point-of-view on supporting such event.

Please introduce yourself and your position/role in Geo-Insights.

My name is Jia Wei, and I am a Geospatial Developer in Geo-Insights and I develop algorithms for remote sensing data. We process the data, along with integration of other relevant geospatial data to build up high level insights or information that are useful to our clients.

Apart from my own image processing, I also work closely with geospatial analysts that arrange for satellite tasking, software developers who manage our platform as well as business development teams to understand client’s needs.

Please describe Geo-Insights’ business. 

ST Engineering Geo-Insights Pte. Ltd. (STE-GI) is an end-to-end satellite downstream services provider. We offer satellite data, ground station services, value-added services and information products based on satellite imagery to address growing global demand for timely geospatial insights.

GI also explores emerging new space technologies and small satellite constellations to enhance its offering to customers.

How do you see the roles of Artificial Intelligence in transforming space exploration?

Artificial Intelligence is key in allowing our space systems to react and make independent decisions robustly in the unknowns of space. Space itself is a risky place for humans to function or live, presenting both a technological and biological challenge for human crews. Communication back to base stations also incurs high latency due to the vast distances.

Tan Jia Wei, Principal Geospatial Solutions Developer. Singapore, 2022.

I would support that human crew should become less necessary in space exploration as it limits the time and distances that we can spend out there, hence AI should play a greater role in performing the mission objectives, serving both as a proxy and substitute for us.

What experiences lead you to think that AI is useful for space exploration?

The gap between Artificial Intelligence (AI) and human intelligence is shrinking every day and in certain tasks, able to exceed human ability. From my own experience in computer vision, AI techniques were a dramatic improvement over classical methods, superseding all the materials that I studied during my schooling years and are now the state of art.

I would expect AI to bring such improvements to many other fields, and space exploration is no exception.

Why do you choose to support the AI Space Challenge competition?

For the space industry ecosystem to succeed and flourish, it is important to look at not only emerging technologies, but also the next generation of people that will play a part in this. Hence, we want to cultivate both the interest and technical talent and hopefully cross paths with the participants again as future peers.

Please explain the special prize “Best Technical Award”

In an AI or ML commercial system, only a tiny fraction of the code is actually devoted to learning or prediction. Much of the remainder may be described as “plumbing” to manage the data flow and finer processes of our product, especially when it comes to having deployability and scalability. These eventually build up to the feasibility of the final product.

This is also why in Geo-Insights we require a diverse team of engineers working together to deliver our platform and we would like to reward the team that sees the importance in execution and refinement of an idea for the “Best Technical Award”

What technology(s) of Geo Insights relates to the development of artificial intelligence or machine learning in space? How the AI is being used in your business and enabling new opportunities.

Geo Insights primarily focuses on remote sensing solutions which involve geospatial data such as satellite imagery. Imagery can include a wide range of frequencies (visible to hyperspectral) or from Synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) and cover large areas of land with high resolution.

AI/ML solutions are essential to derive useful insights from these incredibly large databases.

Left to right, Lie Ya Mei, Tan Jia Wei from Geo-Insights with Nattanon Dungsunenarn, Tan Cheng Hai from AI Space Challenge committee. The committee is giving our sponsor a gift after a meeting. Singapore, 2022.

Please give the AI Space Challenge participants advice on how they can develop their idea into high-impact science research, or business.

Always seek to make your work understandable, not just internally but also externally. For a team to function optimally, be willing to share your knowledge and progress together.

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