ESA Technology Transfer Programme

A hidden signal revealed: what do spacecraft data analytics and real estate trends have in common?

RINA, as official Italian Broker of the ESA Technology Transfer Programme, supported the transfer of a space technology from the Italian company SATE srl to the Austrian eMentalist GmbH.


Incubated in Austria’s ESA BIC, eMentalist needed additional space technology to improve the data analytics performances of their Event Detection platform. The main company expertise is identification and modelling evolution of trending topics from large-scale text corpora using machine learning and natural language processing methods such as entity recognition, semantic enrichment and word embedding. This also includes identification of objective and subjective aspects of topics.


BRIMATECH Services GmbH, the Austrian TTP Broker, received and addressed eMentalist request. They sent a request to the ESA TTP network in June 2017 giving precise details on the needed solution. BRIMATECH is expert in technology market research, so they precisely know how to describe and cope with the industry needs.

RINA received the Austrian request and analysed it. All the brokers in the Italian team are engineers; this means that we have the technical background to understand both space technologies and industrial needs. Furthermore, thanks to the deep knowledge of what our network of companies in Italy offers and the trustworthy relationship that we have with them, we immediately identified and proposed our TTP partner SATE as potential solution provider. SATE, standing for Systems and Advanced Technologies Engineering srl, is expert in the diagnostic field since 1998. Therefore, in agreement with our partner, we provided our commitment to start the matchmaking process and to facilitate a first call between eMentalist and SATE.


After this first contact between eMentalist and SATE, facilitated by RINA and BRIMATECH in their role of Official National Brokers for the ESA TT Programme, the Austrian start-up sent over 2 or 3 data test sets and checked the results. Nine months of regular contacts between SATE and eMentalist followed, including tests and trials. Finally, a contract was signed in April 2018. Since then, SATE technology has been supporting eMentalist in the field of anomaly detection in order to further improve the correlation-and causality-analysis and hence improve the accuracy of the forecasting function focused, for this first project, on the European real estate market.

SATE analysed such data through KETTY (standing for Knowledge ExtracTion from Telemetry), a software that can highlight and detect novel behaviours in spacecraft from telemetry data and get insights into spacecraft dynamics, without having any a priori knowledge. Their algorithm is also able to compare any data against the reference patterns extracted, thereby identify any novel behaviour in their evolution and identify correlations among topics and among the anomalies occurred. FETCH method as well was applied to analyse eMentalist data. FETCH software, standing for FEaTure CHeckability can automatically identify the settings required to reliably perform checks of spacecraft telemetries, e.g. Time Window Duration (TWD) for features computation, reference values, thresholds, etc.

Alessandra Masini

eMentalist:  meet the automated data scientist

eMentalist is a start up in Austria, based at the local ESA business incubation centre, who are specialists in the field of data science, data mining and analytics.

The company has made a scalable application of Artificial Intelligence, and delivered predictive analytics in real time by leveraging the wisdom of the crowd.

They are able to identify opportunities and trends for businesses before they become obvious. They correlate internal company data and related external data from the web to identify signals, trends and influential factors for any given problem, as well as to predict and estimate the future dynamic and impact of such signals on a said business.

SATE: diagnostic experts since 1998

SATE, standing for Systems and Advanced Technologies Engineering srl and based in Venice, have been conducting research and commercial projects in the diagnostic field since 1998, but only started working for ESA in 2014.

As Chiara Brighenti, the spokesperson at the company explains, “Essentially we’ve transferred our model based diagnostic expertise for the automotive and energy business and applied it to space, where no models could be used but only raw data analysis was possible and with no knowledge about the data.”