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AWS Ground Station, An On Demand Satellite Communication Network

"Increasingly global need for satellite-based, Earth-observation data for business"

By CBR Staff Writer

Amazon wants to manage and store your satellite communications with AWS Ground Station, an on demand satellite communication network.

With AWS Ground Station businesses can pay for antenna access as demand requires. All of AWS ground stations are situated near AWS regions across the globe allowing for a low-latency transfer of the data to their servers and cloud infrastructure, only if you are an AWS customer of course.

For any organisation operating with a satellite as part of its business infrastructure keeping in touch with it can be a significant cost. In order to communicate with a satellite antennas need to be established and maintained at key locations. If the satellite is stationed in a low-earth orbit and the company only has one functioning antenna on earth, it then has to wait for that satellite to fly overhead so data can be transmitted back or new commands can be issued. To get around this organisation operating low-earth orbit satellites build multiple antennas in key positions around the globe, done at a significant cost.

Shayn Hawthorne, GM of AWS Ground Station commented in a release that: “Satellite data offers customers a profound way to build applications that help humans explore space and improve life on Earth, but the cost and difficulty of building and maintaining the infrastructure necessary to downlink and process the data has historically been prohibitive for all but the most well-funded organizations

“The goal of AWS Ground Station is to make space communications ubiquitous and to make ground stations simple and easy to use, so that more organizations can derive insights from satellite data to help improve life on Earth and embark on deeper exploration and discovery in space. Customers can rely on AWS Ground Station’s global footprint to downlink data when and where they need it, get timely data, and build new applications faster based on readily available satellite data, without having to buy, lease, and maintain complex and expensive infrastructure.”

AWS Ground Station

Operated in AWS, Amazon’s Ground Station is controlled by the user via a graphical interface in which they can schedule antenna time and set up satellite communications. If the organisation using AWS Ground Station is also an existing AWS client, they can transfer the incoming data to an AWS data centre, where they can run machine learning algorithms and models on the data.

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AWS is aiming the service at an array of business sectors from retail to large logistical companies. Companies heavily invested in transportation logistics can use satellites to better predicate weather patterns in localised areas. They can track the movement of ships, trucks and planes using satellite imaging systems, giving them greater control and insight into the day to day operation of the business.

Peter Platzer, CEO, Spire Global Inc. commented that: “Spire has witnessed a heightened awareness and an increasingly global need for satellite-based, Earth-observation data for business, especially in the fields of weather, maritime, and aviation.”

“The flexibility of AWS Ground Station gives Spire the ability to satisfy that growing customer demand by flexibly augmenting our own global ground network capabilities. With AWS we can collaboratively build a platform for a new kind of data solution which is rapidly becoming an industry standard.”

See Also: University of Bradford Uses HPC System to Build 3D Models of Lost Heritage Sites

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