AI Powered Meteorite Hunting

Researchers at Curtin University in Western Australia have recovered a freshly fallen meteorite after pinpointing its exact location on the vast Nullarbor Plain, with a new technique that uses a drone to collect footage of the landscape that is then scanned using artificial intelligence.

The find at Kybo Station late last year was a successful demonstration of the new method, which had the potential to greatly increase the number of recovered meteorites, particularly those observed as they fall through the atmosphere.

Curtin’s Space Science and Technology Centre Lead researcher and graduate student Seamus Anderson said “A camera-fitted drone flies over and collects images of the fall zone, which are transferred to our field computer where an algorithm scans each image for meteorites and features that resemble them,”

Another potential application for these camera-equipped drones include wildlife management and conservation with the technology easily adapted to identify flora and fauna.

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