Metaspectral, a company offering technology that derives real-time insights from AI using ultra-high-resolution, visible-to-infrared (hyperspectral) images, has been selected to join the SCALE Aerospace Accelerator Program. Metaspectral is the only international company that has been chosen to be incubated by the Los Angeles-based accelerator. 

SCALE is an early-stage, aerospace-focused accelerator offering a 13-week intensive program, that helps entrepreneurs launch and scale their businesses.  The U.S. Economic Development Administration provided a $1.4 million grant to the program.  SCALE is run by the Starburst Aerospace Accelerator in collaboration with UCLA, federally funded by the EDA Venture Challenge, and backed by industry and authorities across the greater Los Angeles area. 

“Hyperspectral imaging is ideal for use in space. The technology collects and processes information from across the electromagnetic spectrum, creating ultra-high definition images that are useful for a variety of applications including Moon exploration and Mars missions, as well as for monitoring forests, weather, and oceans on Earth,” said Francis Doumet, CEO of Metaspectral. “A key challenge in space is that computing resources on board are constrained, so the images must either have their quality degraded to have the data transmitted to Earth, or be analyzed with much of the data truncated.”

Metaspectral provides lossless data compression that can reduce file size to as little as 30% of its original size, and to as little as 9% of its original size with near-lossless compression. It does this while only consuming 10% of the compute fabric compared to other alternatives. This reduces data transmission costs by over 50% while preserving rich data for future use. 

“It is crucial to retain as much of the original images as possible,” added Doumet. “AI analysis is only as good as the information that it is provided with. If images are being randomly selected or having their quality reduced, AI can miss things. Ideally, AI models can be trained with as much high-quality data as possible, to improve both future and current interpretations.”

Each team selected for the SPACE accelerator program will receive personalized instruction and engage with potential corporate clients and investors. Teams will have access to Starburst’s huge network of aerospace companies and will enter an ecosystem that includes Starburst and UCLA alumni, established aerospace entrepreneurs, investors, corporate partners, customers, academic researchers, and more.