AI Special Interest Group on Space
On the 6th of September 2019, the creation of the World’s first AI Special Interest Group, or SIG, dedicated to Space and related sciences, was announced by the European Space Agency and CLAIRE.
The SIG’s goal is to accelerate the development of both AI and space-related research, and
forms a key part of ESA’s wider strategy to accelerate the use of AI in Europe’s space and
related industries and research communities.
It will have a very practical focus, organising events and workshops to bring European AI and space experts together, supporting exchanges between these communities and identifying the key themes for collaboration that could be funded by ESA’s and other research programmes.
It will offer the perfect opportunity for scientists to tackle major problems in space related
sciences and to challenge AI researchers to create new methods and approaches.
Monitoring climate change using satellites measurements, designing autonomous rovers to
explore other planets, or identifying objects using astronomical observatories in orbit: all
these issues are very rich in data and for this reason are an ideal field of application for the
latest AI techniques, and in turn are expected to generate new AI science.
As a result, the SIG will not only develop AI for space-related topics, but help the
development of all AI technologies in Europe, including machine learning, automated
reasoning, planning and optimisation, robotics and multi-agent systems. Many areas of AI
will take advantage of the stimulating and cooperative activities to be created by ESA and
The members of the AI Special Interest Group on Space are:
Enrique Alba, University of Málaga, Spain
Rita Cucchiara, University of Modena, Italy
Alessandro Donati, Deputy-Head of ESA’s Digital Technologies community, Germany
Saso Dzeroski, Jozef Stefan Institute, Slovenia
Raffaella Franco, Head of ESA’s Digital Technologies community, The Netherlands
Malik Ghallab, Director of Research, CNRS, France
Holger Hoos, Leiden University, The Netherlands
Bianca Höersch, ESA Chief Digital Officer, France
Pierre-Philippe Mathieu, Head of ESA Phi-Lab Explore, Italy
Leopold Summerer, Head of ESA Advanced Concepts and Studies Office, The Netherlands
Leon van der Torre, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg