Amazon Web Services goes to space through Lockheed partnership

AWS has announced a new cloud service for satellite operators

The service's development environment will enable developers to start application development with a single click in the AWS Management Console, and automatically provisions the underlying infrastructure, downloading, compiling and configuring of the operating system, development software and ROS. A ground station is a crucial link to transmit data from satellites in orbit, which are used in a wide variety of use cases, including weather forecasting, surface imaging, communications, and video broadcasts.

AWS will be offering new EC2 A1 compute instances based on this Graviton processor and for certain workloads, like web servers, the costs could be as much as 45 percent lower than traditional Intel-based compute instances. Achieving the AWS Service Delivery designation for AWS IoT Core further underscores Klika Tech's ability to help customers develop market-ready products and solutions by leveraging the agility, breadth of services, and pace of innovation that AWS provides.

It will allow customers to save up to 80% of their ground station costs by paying for antenna access time on demand.

"We are using the most comprehensive set of cloud services to evolve our customer service models, and help us meet the rigorous requirements of stakeholders and regulators who need transparency into and proof of robust security architectures that protect both our customers and proprietary data".

AWS will kick off the new service by opening its first two ground stations this week.

By contrast, AWS insists that by using Elemental MediaConnect, customers can build mission-critical live video transport workflows in a fraction of the time and cost of satellite or fibre and get broadcast-grade monitoring and management.

AWS Ground Station locations
AWS Ground Station locations

For space agencies and companies, AWS Ground Station will be "a game changer in how people can interact with satellites", Jassy said. Thousands of satellites are orbiting Earth collecting data. Jassy showed a map of the planned locations for the ground stations with South Africa among those highlighted, alluding to the fact that a ground station will likely be located close to the group's planned data centre in Cape Town.

AWS Ground Station has partnered with several satellite companies such as Lockheed Martin, Capella Space, Spire Global, DigitalGlobe and BlackSky. 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.

"What they tell us is that it's not so simple dealing with satellites if you want to upload and download data".

Lockheed Martin Verge is now available in private beta for customers with satellites that support S-band frequencies and can downlink in the Denver, Colorado area.

Rick Ambrose, executive VP at Lockheed Martin Space, with one of the company's new Verge antennas.

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