Kx leverages AI to solve new space challenges, in partnership with NASA FDL

July 2, 2019

(27 June 2019) Kx, a division of First Derivatives, announces that it will once again join the NASA Frontier Development Lab (FDL) and the SETI Institute in this summer’s space research mission. Kx is part of a group of industry-leaders supporting FDL, including Google Cloud, Intel, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Luxembourg Space Agency, NVIDIA, Canadian Space Agency, HPE and Element AI.

NASA FDL will kick off its fourth annual summer research accelerator, applying the latest techniques in machine learning and artificial intelligence to address important science and exploration research challenges.

Kx is again providing data scientists with machine learning expertise for both the US and European initiatives, with a focus on Mission Control for Earth: Disaster Prevention. In previous years, Kx experts have worked on other successful projects with NASA FDL, including the development of a machine learning tool to detect exoplanets and the use of AI applications for solar flare prediction. This year’s goal is to develop techniques for predicting and responding to natural disasters, including floods, landslides and coastal degradation.

Kx data scientists specializing in machine learning will work together with subject matter experts at FDL to investigate how AI can improve natural disaster forecasting and response capabilities using orbital imagery, ground observation and social data. Kx has unique expertise in ultra-high-speed processing of real-time, streaming and historical data, making it ideally suited to address the AI demands in this challenge.

“Since its inception, FDL has proven the efficacy of interdisciplinary research and the power of public-private partnership,” said Bill Diamond, president and CEO of the SETI Institute. “We are building on the extraordinary accomplishments of the researchers and mentors from the first three years and are excited to welcome another international group of amazing young scientists for this year’s program. We are also extremely grateful to all our private sector partners and especially to Google Cloud for their leadership role.”

“NASA has been at the forefront of machine learning – e.g. robotics,” said Madhulika Guhathakurta, program scientist and heliophysicist on detail at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. “But we’re now witnessing an inflection point, where AI promises to become a tool for discovery – where the ability to process vast amount of heterogeneous data, as well as massive amount of data collected over decades, allows us to revisit the physics-based models of the past – to better understand underlying principles and radically improve time to insight”

Brian Conlon, Chief Executive Officer of Kx, commented, “Of the many industries where AI has been implemented, we have only scratched the surface on how it can impact natural disaster prediction and response. Kx technology’s ultra-high performance enables deeper insights and optimized decision making, in this case to tackle environmental challenges that threaten our planet. We are excited to once again join NASA FDL and other great partners in this year’s program.”

About Kx
Kx is a division of First Derivatives (FDP.L), a global technology provider with more than 20 years of experience working with some of the world’s largest finance, technology, retail, pharma, manufacturing and energy institutions. Kx technology, incorporating the kdb+ time-series database, is a leader in high-performance, in-memory computing, streaming analytics and operational intelligence. Kx delivers the best possible performance and flexibility for high-volume, data-intensive analytics and applications across multiple industries. The Group operates from 15 offices across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, including its headquarters in Newry, and employs more than 2,400 people worldwide.

For more information about Kx please visit www.kx.com. For general enquiries, write to info@kx.com. For press inquiries, write to pr@kx.com.

About the NASA Frontier Development Lab (FDL)
Hosted in Silicon Valley by the SETI Institute, NASA FDL is an applied artificial intelligence research accelerator developed in partnership with NASA’s Ames Research Center.  Founded in 2016, the NASA FDL aims to apply AI technologies to challenges in space exploration by pairing machine learning expertise with space science and exploration researchers from academia and industry. These interdisciplinary teams address tightly defined problems and the format encourages rapid iteration and prototyping to create outputs with meaningful application to the space program and humanity.

About the SETI Institute
Founded in 1984, the SETI Institute is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary research and education organization whose mission is to explore, understand, and explain the origin and nature of life in the universe and the evolution of intelligence. Our research encompasses the physical and biological sciences and leverages expertise in data analytics, machine learning and advanced signal detection technologies. The SETI Institute is a distinguished research partner for industry, academia and government agencies, including NASA and NSF.