The Application of Neuromorphic Processors to Satcom Applications









Project Description:

Mimicking the way a human brain communicates, bioinspired electronics based on non-volatile memory devices have emerged as a promising alternative to traditional computing technologies based on transistors. While conventional processors operate on a batch mode, i.e. batching up large number of samples before processing them, the new neuromorphic processors (NPs) can process data samples as quickly as possible.


One of the main driving forces for investments in neuromorphic computing is the promise it holds for Artificial Intelligence (AI). While conventional computers are still preferred for specific applications, NPs are ideally suited for tasks that human-brain can solve easily, such as recognition and reasoning. Currently, neuromorphic computer systems are still being researched. So far, there is still a lot of development and prototyping going on. The technology is quickly gaining momentum and large corporations, such as Intel and IBM, are participating in research projects related to this promising technology.


NPs represent a major opportunity to unlock the potential benefits of AI and ML solutions for satellite communications (SatCom) systems thanks to their energy efficiency and capability of continual, on-board, adaptation.


The project NeuroSat aims to identify the potential benefits of using NPs implementing spiking neural networks (SNN) for SatCom applications. The study's primary outcomes will be to inform the community of the capabilities and feasibility of implementing neuromorphic processors in SatCom systems and to define the technological developments needed to make them a reality.


The proposed activity will take the form of an investigation into the implementation of NP architectures in SatCom systems, focusing on AI-based applications that require massive parallelism, processing of streaming data, energy efficiency, and adaptation. We will identify such applications, describe NP systems tailored for SatCom, present a prototypical implementation using Intel’s Loihi NP, and trace a path ahead for research and implementation of neuromorphic computing for SatCom.


The project will be carried out by University of Luxembourg (UL), which will contribute its expertise on SatCom, and King’s College London (KCL), whose team members have a longstanding experience in the design and implementation of NPs and SNNs.


Neuromorphic Processors for SatCom Applications Workshop (12 July 2022)

On July 12th, 2022, we held an online workshop with the aim of collecting feedback from experts in the field of NP and consolidate the selection of user cases and applications. More information: ESA NeuroSat Workshop Brochure



Funding: This project is funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) ARTES Future Preparation

Project Starting Date: May 2022

Research Team: