Amazon to launch ground stations to process satellite data on cloud service

Amazon to launch ground stations to process satellite data on cloud service

Speaking at the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday, AWS CEO Andy Jassy said most AWS customers have complained about the high costs and complexity of using satellites, hence the decision to launch the business.

The company has termed the services as the world's first "fully-managed ground station as-a-service". Add to this, costs involved in setting up servers, storage and networking in close proximity to these antennas.

AWS RoboMaker general manager Roger Barga said: "AWS RoboMaker provides prebuilt functionality to support robotics developers during their entire project, making it significantly easier to build robots, simulate performance in various environments, iterate faster and drive greater innovation". "You can lease them and pay for it by the minute", Jassy said. 'I've been interested in Arm server processors for more than a decade so its super exciting to see the AWS Graviton finally public, it's going to be exciting to see what customers do with the new A1 instances, and I'm already looking forward to follow-on offerings as we continue to listen to customers and enhance the world's broadest cloud computing instance selection.

AWS has made both source code and documentation of the AWS RoboMaker cloud extensions for ROS publicly available under the terms of the Apache Software License 2.0, initially to developers in the USA and the EU.

"You first need a number of antennas for ground stations, placed world-wide". For AWS customers in the government or regulated industries, this includes the AWS GovCloud and Secret Regions that carry the full range of data classifications, including Unclassified, Sensitive, Secret, and Top Secret.

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AWS Global Accelerator, available today, uses AWS' global network backbone to direct traffic from users to application endpoints across AWS regions.

According to a statement, AWS Robomaker extends the most widely used robotics software framework, Robot Operating System (ROS), by providing connectivity to AWS services such as machine learning, monitoring and analytics. "And, they will be able to ingest data straight into AWS, where they can securely store, analyze, and transmit products to their customers". Analytics and machine learning can be applied to this data to identify the safest exit routes and best locations for temporary shelters and emergency medical facilities.

Customers and partners now previewing the AWS Ground Station are Lockheed Martin, Digital Globe, HawkEye, Advanced Space, Open Cosmos, Black Sky, Capella Space and others.

AWS also announced a related partnership with Lockheed Martin Corp. to integrate Ground Stations with the aerospace giant's new Verge antenna network.

The collaboration with AWS will allow Lockheed Martin to deliver robust ground communications that will unlock new benefits for environmental research, scientific studies, security operations, and real-time news media. "The combination of Lockheed Martin Verge and AWS Cloud will allow multiple satellites to downlink simultaneously, which will increase satellite constellation throughput and reduce latency for our customers". This access would be available even during unplanned outages such as a weather event, the companies said.

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