EpiSci’s AI Software Targets Hypersonic Missile Menace

The SDA chose EpiSci to make software that finds hypersonic missiles in space, which is tough because they are really fast.

By Sunil Sonkar
2 Min Read
EpiSci's AI Software Targets Hypersonic Missile Menace

To tackle the danger of hypersonic missiles, the Space Development Agency (SDA) picked EpiSci, a company in California, to make a super-smart software. This software is meant to find hypersonic missiles as they zoom through space. It is a tough job because these missiles move very fast.


Hypersonic missiles are a big challenge for current defense systems because they fly at least five times faster than sound. To confront this threat, the SDA, a division of the U.S. Space Force, is assembling a network of satellites in low Earth orbit.

Expected to include around 100 missile-tracking satellites, this network requires sophisticated software to sift through the vast troves of data collected by these sensors. Enter EpiSci, entrusted with a $1.6 million two-year contract to develop AI-powered software that can discern and track hypersonic threats.

EpiSci’s technical director, Samuel Hess, knows this job is tricky. Tracking these speedy targets over long distances need lots of satellites working together and really accurate tracking programs. To this end, EpiSci has partnered with Raytheon Technologies, a major defense contractor renowned for its expertise in missile defense simulations and data analysis.

EpiSci, known for its AI skills in drones and helping pilots, is using its know-how to deal with the hypersonic missile problem. Collaborating with Raytheon, EpiSci will harness missile defense simulators to demonstrate hypersonic missile detection capabilities. They are going to begin with information from just one satellite and then add more over time to make the system work even better.

The hard part is making computer programs that can find these tricky targets among lots of other things, like airplanes. But with help from Raytheon’s fancy simulations, EpiSci is ready to change how we spot hypersonic missiles, keeping us safe from this new space threat.

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