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AWS Launches AWS Ground Station; Makes Satellite Data Availability Faster, Cost-effective

Amazon Web Services today announced AWS Ground Station at the annual AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas.  The service makes it easy to download data from satellites into AWS Global Infrastructure Regions using a fully managed network of 12 ground station antennas located around the world. B

Corporates, universities, and governments use satellites for applications ranging from weather forecasting, surface imaging, and communications and customers have to either build or lease ground antennas to communicate with the satellites, which is a significant cost. Apart from the cost of antennas, users have to invest in servers, storage, and networking in close proximity to the antenna to process, store, and transport the satellite data.

With the launch of AWS Ground Station customers can now easily and cost-effectively control satellite operations, ingest satellite data, and integrate the data with applications and other cloud services running in AWS. With AWS Ground Station customers can save up to 80% of their ground station costs by paying for antenna access time on demand. AWS Ground Station customers can downlink current data to any of the 12 AWS ground stations around the world and quickly combine the data with other AWS services to process, store, analyse, and transport the data to keep up with rapidly evolving conditions. With AWS and AWS Ground Station, customers can get timely data sooner, rapidly experiment with new applications, and deliver products to market faster without buying, leasing, or maintaining complex and expensive infrastructure.

“Satellite data is incredibly useful for building a wide range of important applications, but it is complex and expensive to build and operate the required infrastructure . With this, we are giving satellite customers the ability to dynamically scale their ground station antenna use based on actual need. They will be able to ingest data straight into AWS, where they can securely store, analyse, and transmit products to their customers without needing to worry about building all of the infrastructure themselves.”

AWS Ground Station’s self-service graphical interface makes it easy to identify antenna locations and communications windows, and schedule antenna time. This enables customers to review confirmed times in the console and cancel or reschedule prior to the scheduled contact time. Because many AWS Ground Station antennas are co-located with AWS Regions, customers have low-latency, local access to other AWS services to process and store this data. For example, they can use Amazon EC2 to control satellites and downlink data, store and share the data in Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS), or Amazon S3, use Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) for secure communications between Amazon EC2 instances and the AWS Ground Station antenna gateway, hunt for real-time business insights with Amazon Kinesis Data Streams and Amazon Elastic Map Reduce, apply machine learning algorithms and models with Amazon SageMaker, add image analysis with Amazon Rekognition, and improve data sets by combining satellite data with IoT sensor data from AWS IoT Greengrass. AWS customers can combine these capabilities to build exciting applications that might use image recognition to identify and protect endangered animals, machine learning to predict faulty construction or industrial systems, or analytics to estimate oil production or assess agriculture yields in real time.

DigitalGlobe BlackSky, Spire, Capella Space, Open Cosmos, and HawkEye 360 are few of the early companies to access the antennas on demand.

 

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