DISA plans cloud storage of exabytes of image data

AWS launches new unit for space sector

Amazon is ready to provide cloud hosting and other services to customers and partners in the space sector.  

A new division, called Aerospace and Satellite Solutions, builds on the company’s 2018 entry into the space market with its AWS Ground Station service that integrated ground station and antenna networks into one managed service offering hosted in a cloud infrastructure. That service eliminated the need for government agencies, business and universities to lease ground antennas across the globe to communicate with their satellites.  Customers could control satellite communications, downlink and process satellite data, and easily scale operations without managing ground station infrastructure.

A partnership with Lockheed Martin linked customers of its Verge antenna network to those ground stations to give them access to AWS services like storage, analytics and machine learning.

Since then, AWS has built out its Ground Station Network to help users make data transfers from space and conduct downloads from more than one satellite at a time.

AWS’ belief is that as government agencies, research organizations and space companies alike need stronger data downlink and communication capabilities. Cloud computing infrastructures can help make that happen at scale.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory uses the AWS ground station network, as do commercial satellite operators Iridium Communications and Spire Global. 

“Large and established organizations can use AWS Ground Station to rapidly scale their satellite communications operations, and space startups are growing faster by using AWS Ground Station to avoid major capital expenditures that would be required to build satellite ground infrastructures,” Teresa Carlson, vice president of the AWS worldwide public sector business, said in her keynote for the company’s virtual Public Sector Summit.

To run the new division, AWS has also hired retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Clint Crosier, former director of space planning for U.S. Space Force who is credited as leading efforts, to stand up the service branch.

This article was first posted to Washington Technology, a sibling site to GCN.

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