Computer Vision in Space: What Are The Applications?

In this article, we will look at how computer vision technologies and how these technologies are being used in space exploration.
Rabia Gül
4 minutes

Computer Vision in Space: What Are The Applications?

Artificial intelligence technologies continue to realize our dreams of machines with human abilities. In the recent era, technologies such as robots and computer vision have made significant strides in this pursuit.

In particular, advances in computer vision technology are opening up new avenues in very important areas. Extremely important technologies such as face detection, face recognition, human detection, and gender and age detection have been made possible by computer vision.

Computer vision technologies continue to develop rapidly. This technology may have an important place in space exploration, which will perhaps be the most important technology issue of our next decade. But how possible is this? 

Computer Vision in Various Ares

 We have already mentioned that computer vision technologies are extremely important and effective. First, let's take a brief look at how computer vision works, and then let's examine the uses of computer vision technologies in different fields.

Computer vision technologies have emerged with advances in machine learning and its sub-branch, deep learning algorithms. The most important feature of machine learning, particularly deep learning, is that it mimics human learning and perception systems. In particular, deep learning algorithms are composed of layers just like the human brain and neural networks (artificial neurons) similar to those in the human brain.

It is also possible to say that computer vision technologies mimic the human visual system. It is important to note that the human visual system is very complex, and every detail of its working principle is not yet known. Although we have a good understanding of how computer vision works, the functions of computer vision are also extremely complex. 

So, to answer the crucial question, in which areas is computer vision used? 

Facial Recognition

Face recognition technology is one of the most important areas where computer vision is used. Here, computers, or rather algorithms, detect facial characteristics and compare them with other people's faces in databases. Which database the algorithm uses is also important here.

The application is widely used in the field of security, including personal security and border security. Cell phones also use facial recognition technology to unlock their locks. Computer vision-based facial recognition technologies are also used in areas such as banking and retail. 

Self Driving Cars

Self-driving cars perceive their surroundings through computer vision. Cameras attached to the vehicles transmit real-time images to the vehicle's software. These images are analyzed in real-time, and the vehicle detects the road, obstacles, and pedestrians on the road. 


Computer vision algorithms are also widely used in healthcare. In health, they are used especially in conjunction with MRI and X-ray technologies and can detect bodily abnormalities.


Computer vision technologies also play an active role in production. These technologies work very effectively in the detection of defective products. In addition, barcode reading and product scanning processes have also become easier thanks to computer vision technologies.


Computer vision technologies in agriculture have led to extremely important developments. Thanks to computer vision technologies, cultivated fields can be continuously monitored. At the same time, factors such as disease and deterioration in crops can be detected early and locally so that the necessary amount of pesticides can be used.


The retail sector is one of the sectors where computer vision technologies are frequently used. Self-payment is one of the main areas of use. At this point, computer vision and barcode reading technologies are utilized.,

In the retail sector, computer vision can also be used in video analytics. Here it is possible to analyze customer demographics, gender, or interest level.

Computer Vision In Space: Is it Possible

Today, ongoing research shows that the future looks bright. Computer Vision is predicted to advance significantly in the future, and computer Vision algorithms are expected to become easier to train. Another expectation is that algorithm performance will improve.

When technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning are combined with Computer Vision, it is thought that it will be possible to create powerful autonomous systems. In this case, it can be said that computer vision in space may be possible. Although there is still much to be discovered in the field of computer vision, this technology and artificial intelligence could grow the entire space sector in the near future.

The use of computer vision technologies in space exploration is vast. These technologies seem to take over many important jobs, such as satellite images, planet detection, heavenly body detection, and routing for airlines.

Another important use of computer vision in space is in the field of robotics. The use of robots used in space exploration instead of astronauts but controlled by astronauts has increased tremendously. The ability of these robots to explore, perceive and move in their environment also depends on computer vision technologies, just like self-driving cars.

Applications of Computer Vision in Space

As mentioned above, computer vision technologies can and will be used in many areas of space exploration. Let's take a look at the areas in which computer vision technologies are used in space exploration:

Detecting Space Junk

Space debris/waste has the potential to be very dangerous. This danger is a particular concern for astronauts and rockets on their way to exploration. Space debris can be old satellites, meteorites, and other things. Locating this debris using computer vision technologies can prevent many important problems.

Also, with real-time inspections, the safety of space exploration teams can be ensured at all times.

Celestial Body Detection

Thanks to computer vision and object detection, it is possible to locate asteroids on large images. Many different techniques can be used to detect asteroids in space, thus ensuring the safety of researchers and improving space exploration. Object detection can also be an important aid to the discovery of new species in space.

Satellite Imagery

Satellite imagery is slightly more familiar technology. This is the name given to the images that satellites take of the earth's surface or atmosphere. Satellite images are used in many detection and research, from unexpected weather events to natural disasters.

Self Driving Rovers

Self-driving reconnaissance vehicles have made many important discoveries, especially in the exploration of the Martian surface. These vehicles can perceive their surroundings through computer vision technologies. Thus, they can plot routes and transmit what they see in real-time to researchers in the world.

NASA also uses machine learning technologies very effectively. For example, the health checks of astronauts have improved thanks to machine learning considerably. The health risks faced by astronauts are tried to be prevented with remote health checks.


Computer vision technologies have developed rapidly and taken place in our lives. Computer vision technologies have become very effective in many different fields in many sectors.

One of the most important areas where these technologies are currently being used and will be used in the future in space exploration. Artificial intelligence will greatly help us to explore the universe we live in. Not only computer vision and algorithms, but robots supported by these algorithms and technologies will explore space.

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