During the first few weeks of 2023, it has become clear that artificial intelligence (AI) is taking on an increasingly important role in the day-to-day lives of people and institutions. AI technology is being used in everything from advancing ChatGPT technology to tools like Midjourney. What’s surprising is that even NASA, the US space agency, is using AI to design custom hardware.
According to a recent note posted on NASA’s official website, the project is led by Ryan McCelland, a NASA research engineer. The agency uses artificial intelligence to design unique parts, which allows them to reduce the costs and time needed for the procedures required in their missions. In this way, NASA joins other companies such as Microsoft and Google, which also rely on the potential of AI technology.
The design process uses artificial intelligence to create “evolved structures” that undergo various validation processes to identify potential failure points. Once its effectiveness is confirmed, the design is sent to a commercial supplier, who shapes the part and delivers it to the entity as soon as possible. This process has reduced the time that previously took several weeks to a mere seven days.
In addition, according to McCelland, these algorithmically generated structures are more robust than traditional hardware and have already been used in NASA missions such as space telescopes, scanners of the Earth’s atmosphere, and planetary instruments. NASA is at the forefront of AI adoption and highlights the possibilities offered by this technology. Moreover, in light of its partnership with Jeff Bezos to lead the Mars mission, they may continue to use AI to carry out their most ambitious mission.
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