China is taking a significant step to use orbital resources more effectively and improve the control of large constellations with the launch of a project to study the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in avoiding space debris. The project, approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology as a “New Generation of Artificial Intelligence 2022 Major Program,” will be carried out by the State Key Laboratory of Astronautic Dynamics (ADL).
With human activities generating space debris that is becoming a major threat to space exploration, researchers are eager to find a solution. There are more than 30,000 pieces of debris larger than 10 centimeters in space, and the difficulties of predicting their speed, direction, and fragmentation make the situation increasingly challenging.
The project, which will integrate AI model algorithms and domain knowledge, aims to address these challenges. Li Hengnian, director of ADL, said they will work to align with national strategic needs and cooperate with domestic competitive units to provide technical support for China’s space traffic management.
Chief Scientist of the project, Jiang Yu, added they will study the AI paradigm of online monitoring of space debris, the evolution of the debris environment, and space situational awareness. With this new project, China is taking a major step towards strengthening their control of space and building a space power.