PREDICT is launching into Space!
Everybody talks about it, and even when you are not involved in either Defence or Space, you still hear about it: the Future Submarines, and the Australian Space Agency, in Adelaide!
South Australia is growing fast in an environment where a lot of companies and (even more) new technologies develop all at once to be able to address at its best the amazing challenges in Defence & Space. The image of the future for South Australia looks good and promising; we can feel the air buzzing, and the excitement continuously inflating.
Firstly, there is Lot14, where one of the biggest innovation precincts is currently under construction/refurbishment of the old RAH. It already hosts a few key players of Australia’s Defence & Space development such as the office of the SA Chief Entrepreneur, Defence Teaming Centre, and a few Space companies such as Myriota, Inovor and Neumann Space, many more are to come. Lot14 is also home to the Australia Space Agency, the SmartSatCRC and the Defence Landing Pad. Not to forget that the MIT partnered with the South Australian government, BankSA, and Optus Business to open one of the 4 Living Labs existing in the world (others being in New York, Beijing and Istanbul), with the goal of determining how South Australia can drive economic and sustainable population growth (reference).
Thousands of people will work in this centre of gravity for the Start-up, Space and Defence community for a very long time, constantly contributing in shaping the future of Australia.
Secondly, regarding space, the SmartSatCRC has been created last year to provide Australia with real-time connectivity, surveillance and sensing over its land, sea as well as to solve major satellite systems and advanced communication challenges for connectivity, navigation and monitoring(reference). The CRC has now secured $245m in participant & government funding.
So in short: a lot is happening in Adelaide and for space…and PREDICT is getting involved!
Who is PREDICT?
Get a glimpse of our history.
PREDICT’s solution is basically a doctor for machines, knowing and anticipating the reason and time of death up to 6 months in advance. Instead of fixing things once they are broken, PREDICT aims at fixing things before they break.
More specifically, when an equipment is drifting from what is defined as the normal behaviour, the software analyses the drift based on the configuration prior to implementation.
The platform then gives a diagnostics of the most likely root causes of the drift, and a remaining useful life of the equipment. This tool is designed to be used by the engineering and operational team to anticipate machinery failures in most cases, optimize the maintenance strategy, and eradicate the imperfections in the process or machines.
The industry doesn’t need to suffer the downtime anymore, they know when, how and why something is going to break, therefore optimising their maintenance, production, time and understanding of their equipment. However, this is only to present the direct advantages of an advanced predictive maintenance tool as in fact there are many indirect advantages such as pinpointing the energy overconsumption points or finding problems in the design of an equipment.
After a prospection phase in 2017, PREDICT discovered that there was a real demand in Australia for Predictive Maintenance that was showing in many different sectors such as Renewable energy, Aerospace and Agriculture, which are sectors that are particularly important for us, and this state. To answer this demand, we opened an Australian entity specially dedicated to local projects. There is a real awareness growing of the need for new technologies and how much the industry can benefit from it.
Our experience & Why develop it in SA?
As our e-solution applies to any equipment that we can analyse from documentation and data, and as we always aim to explore new sectors, we started to test our algorithms and applied our methodology to the Space industry in Europe: 8 projects in total, 5 trials successful, 3 still currently ongoing.
Each trial has been carefully undertaken on very different and specific equipment, sometimes even vital for the crew. As we are used to working for Defence and Nuclear since 2004, where lives are always at stake and ensuring accurate predictions months in advance is of top priority, it was necessary to make the step in Space to be able to guarantee the same. Advanced Predictive Maintenance is about avoiding failures as much and early as possible, but in some sectors of activity, the main benefit is to guarantee safety at all times.
For mission success, PREDICT conducted a feasibility study for Predictive Maintenance of Earth Observation Ground Segments. The goal was to detect drifts as early as possible in an IT infrastructure (programming servers/mission planning, application servers, massive data storage, data servers, firewall, networks, etc.) that programs specific shots of the Earth, upload programs and issues command to a constellation of satellites. The images are then retrieved, processed and the observation deliverables for the final customer can be produced (civilian or military) before being archived. PREDICT could successfully demonstrate the feasibility of Predictive Maintenance for the IT infrastructure of the Ground Segment.
On rockets, PREDICT implemented real-time digital data processing technologies for Predictive Maintenance on pumps entering the propellant development process (the oxidant/rocket fuel), on a vertical lathe used in the machining of Rocket’s nozzles, on a furnace used to obtain the good mechanical, structural and material properties of space system parts and, on a friction welding machine for Rocket’s tanks.
On top of optimising the maintenance, PREDICT’s software can also address a very unique and critical challenge to the Space Industry: to better plan the launch of new satellites and improve the management of those that are already launched. In fact, by detecting satellite degradation before failures occur and determining its remaining useful life, we could both increase the satellite availability and improve satellite launch planning.
As the first set of results were successful, PREDICT is advancing to the next steps of the development phases. As the Space industry is booming in Australia from Adelaide, considering the incredible ecosystem PREDICT is in and as an Australian entity based in Adelaide, the decision was made to further develop the activities locally. Predict joined the SmartSatCRC to take the R&D further from Australia considering the resilient and robust alignment of the company’s expertise and first results with themes in the CRC.
PREDICT is investigating potential partnerships to start working on R&D projects focused on Remote Monitoring/Advanced Predictive Analytics for both satellites and ground infrastructure to deliver the best outcomes possible for the Australian Space Industry.