Supplier snapshot: KP Labs in 2024


KP Labs is a NewSpace company based in Poland offering AI computers and software to bring autonomy to demanding space missions.

In this article we discuss their growth over the last 12 months, look ahead to the company’s plans and ambitions in 2024, and share further information about their portfolio.


KP Labs in 2023

We asked KP Labs what the company’s biggest wins in 2023 were. They replied with the following information:

Success of the Transporter 9 mission with Intuition-1 and Antelope on board: The Transporter 9 mission, using SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, effectively placed the Intuition-1 satellite and our Antelope Onboard Computer (OBC) into orbit. Intuition-1 is designed for Earth observation using a hyperspectral instrument and AI for data processing thanks to KP Labs Oryx OBCS, The Herd algorithms and Leopard Data Processing Unit (DPU), while Antelope OBC with a DPU module, aboard D-Orbit’s ION Satellite Carrier, is ultimately responsible for satellite control and task performance with a DPU module running telemetry data algorithms monitoring the satellite’s subsystems.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) on Leopard DPU in orbit: The Leopard DPU, a key component of the Intuition-1 mission, successfully ran artificial intelligence in space. This was achieved through the execution of a real neural network for hyperspectral data processing, utilizing its FPGA accelerator. This operation earned the Leopard DPU its flight heritage status.

Operational milestone for Antelope OBC with a DPU module: Integrated into D-Orbit’s ION Satellite Carrier, the Antelope OBC successfully passed its initial testing phase in orbit. This achievement not only confirmed its functionality but also granted it flight heritage status, highlighting its readiness for space missions.

Leopard DPU shortlisted for ISS experiment: The Leopard DPU is set for a significant ISS experiment. In collaboration with the European Space Agency and Polish Space Agency, this experiment aims to test the Leopard DPU’s AI and data processing capabilities in space, aligning it with the upcoming Axiom-4 mission with the Polish astronaut Slawosz Uznanski on board.

VIREO satellite launch with KP Labs AI technology: Launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the VIREO satellite from C3S Electronics Development LLC features KP Labs’ AI technology for on-board cloud-coverage detection. This technology, based on a custom convolutional neural network, enhances the satellite’s Earth Observation (EO) capabilities.

KP Labs’ Anomaly Detection System on OPS-SAT: KP Labs successfully demonstrated its anomaly detection algorithm on the European Space Agency’s OPS-SAT satellite. This experiment validated the effectiveness of our machine learning algorithms in space conditions, showcasing advancement in space-based anomaly detection technology.

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KP Labs in 2024

KP Labs also shared the company’s strategic aims and ambitions for this year:

Leopard DPU’s role in OPS SAT VOLT mission: The Leopard Data Processing Unit (DPU) by KP Labs is set to play a crucial role in the upcoming OPS SAT VOLT mission, led by Craft Prospect for the European Space Agency (ESA). This mission, valued at approximately €12 million, aims to bring advanced hardware and software technologies into a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) environment, addressing global challenges like the climate crisis and securing cyber communications.

The Leopard DPU will serve as a key element, enabling real-time AI-based data classification and compression, significantly reducing data transfer loads and processing times back to Earth. This contribution will be pivotal in testing Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) space hardware and autonomous operations software within a Versatile Optical Laboratory for Telecommunications (VOLT), enhancing capabilities for optical communications and climate resilience applications.

Expanding the product portfolio and advancing technology readiness Levels: KP Labs is focusing on expanding our product portfolio and elevating the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of our offerings. This approach is in line with our commitment to advancing the state of space technology and providing innovative solutions to industry. We aim to continuously improve and diversify our range of products, ensuring they meet the highest standards of technical readiness and applicability for various space missions.

Introducing a new service: This service will significantly enhance KP Labs’s capabilities and provide clients with more comprehensive solutions. Designed to complement KP Labs’ existing portfolio, this service aligns perfectly with the mission of delivering cutting-edge technology in the field of space exploration and observation, making hardware easily accessible.

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Insights from the supply chain

KP Labs also shared some insights on the wider space industry, and how they relate to the company’s strategic aims and ambitions:

For engineers planning missions in 2024 and beyond, KP Labs encourages paying attention to Edge AI to increase returns on a mission on the one hand but on the other enter new markets enabling decision-making in space.

Various tools for on-board data processing, like the ones KP Labs provides, are crucial for managing the challenges posed by the high volume of data generated in space missions. They enable fast processing and efficient compression, which are essential given the limitations in downlink capabilities​​.

For example, a single, unprocessed hyperspectral image takes up 2 GB, whereas the speed of data transfer to the ground station is 50 Mb/s. As a result, transmitting one image to Earth can take almost 7 min., while the length of a typical communication session is 5-10 min.

The use of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) combined with artificial intelligence, could face the challenge. These technologies not only increase the speed of data analysis but also enable real-time data classification and compression, reducing the size of the transmitted data significantly, sometimes by up to 100 times​​.

This advanced architecture, exemplified by the Leopard DPU, ensures smooth performance in space and allows for high throughput, achieving up to 3 Tera Operations Per Second​​.

KP Labs products (software, hardware, algorithms) dedicated to Edge AI, which you can find detailed on the company’s satsearch profile, are specifically designed to meet these requirements.

They are tailor-made for efficient data processing in space, addressing the current and future needs of various space missions. For more information about our range of products and how they can support your mission requirements, visit KP Labs Products.

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KP Labs’ portfolio

This section includes a variety of KP Labs’ products available on the global market today. Click on the links to open pages with more detail on each system.

You can then make requests for quotes, documents, or further information, and we’ll handle these for you (find out more about how this simple process works on this page). You can also submit an open tender here and our expert procurement team will get back to you ASAP.

Oryx is a modular flight software tool developed for the mission control of small satellites. It manages all satellite tasks – namely, processing telecommands sent by the operators, monitoring the power budget, executing pre-defined schedules, managing emergencies and handling data.

The KP Labs Antelope can work as an On-Board Computer (OBC) with an optional Data Processing Unit (DPU) or as a data processing unit (DPU). OBC is the powerful heart of the satellite, responsible for satellite control and basic task performance such as communication handling, monitoring the satellite’s subsystems, handling the classic Fault Detection, Isolation and Recovery (FDIR) mechanism, and performing planned tasks.

A CubeSat standard-compliant Data Processing Unit (DPU) designed for the application of AI solutions in space. Leopard uses Deep Neural Networks to process data on-board and features FPGA to implement deep learning algorithms. The system has a throughput of up to 3 Tera Operations per second.

The KP Labs' Lion is a data processing unit for advanced operations with the use of artificial intelligence and on-board data processing. The Lion DPU is dedicated to micro and small satellites weighing between 50 and 500kg.

KP Labs’ The Herd - AI-powered algorithms for Earth Observation (EO) - is a set of AI-powered algorithms designed for EO data analysis.

Oasis is a single-board, CubeSat PC-104 compatible electrical ground support equipment that serves as an interface between the PC-running satellite systems simulators and the hardware engineering model.

The KP Labs Thermal Vacuum Chamber is designed for the testing of space-grade components and systems. It is equipped with a black thermal shroud and a copper baseplate with independent temperature control. The shroud is cooled with liquid nitrogen. The tested device can be hung from the shroud or mounted to the baseplate with screw connections.

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Further reading

The links below will take you to other satsearch resources where you can learn more about some of the topics mentioned on this page:

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artificial intelligence
edge computing
on board computers
satellite technology

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