satellite network (Andrey VP/

Microsoft testing satellite-to-cloud service

Microsoft wants to give satellites easy access to the cloud.

The Federal Communications Commission has granted Microsoft permission to test connecting a Spanish imaging satellite called DEIMOS-2 to two ground stations to demonstrate that the satellite’s data can be downloaded moved directly into the Azure cloud, CNBC reported.

On Sept. 2, the FCC authorized Microsoft to conduct six months of proof-of-concept demonstrations, and the company plans to run the demos before, during and after its Ignite conference, which starts on Sept. 22. Microsoft also proposed to build one of the two ground stations itself at its Quincy, Wash., data center.

“If the demonstrations result in significant market interest, Microsoft will file an application for regular earth station authority with the International Bureau (IB) to support future commercial operations, and that application will include a request for U.S. market access for DEIMOS-2,” the company’s FCC filing said, according to CNBC.

Amazon Web Services already offers a satellite-to-cloud service. In 2018, its Aerospace and Satellite Solutions division began offering AWS Ground Station service that eliminates the need for government agencies, business and universities to lease ground antennas across the globe to communicate with their satellites.  Customers can control satellite communications, downlink and process satellite data, and easily scale operations without managing ground station infrastructure themselves.

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