AWS joins Lockheed Martin to help decode massive satellite data

AWS joins Lockheed Martin to help decode massive satellite data

Pricing is typically flexible, charged per-minute of downlink time, with an option to pre-pay for blocks of minutes, something AWS asserts could save customers 80 percent on their current ground station costs. All of this requires significant capital investments and operational costs to build, manage, and maintain antennas, compute infrastructure, and business logic at each antenna location.

"AWS RoboMaker provides prebuilt functionality to support robotics developers during their entire project, making it significantly easier to build robots, simulate performance in various environments, iterate faster, and drive greater innovation", Barga added.

The solution is a set of low cost ground and network antennas capturing multiple streams of satellite data and sending it to the AWS cloud.

Ground stations are used by satellite operators to communicate with satellites using specialised antennas, computing network and other infrastructure. AWS is kicking off with a pair of ground stations and says it will have a total of a dozen up and running by the middle of next year.

Lockheed Martin said that with almost 16,000 new satellites expected to be launched in the next decade, the solution could exponentially decrease costs attached to the data processed from them. The 158-year-old mutual insurance company continues to migrate production workloads to AWS, including mission-critical functions such as data analytics platforms, customer portals, and direct-to-consumer services, and is closing its Guardian owned and operated data centers.

"Satellite data is incredibly useful for building a wide range of important applications, but it is super complex and expensive to build and operate the infrastructure needed to do so", Charlie Bell, Amazon Web Services senior vice president, said in a statement.

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Earlier this month, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the largest public cloud services provider, announced that its cloud business would make AMD's EPYC server chips available to its customers.

"With this new system, the image will be crystal clear and this will be crucial for application in autonomous vehicles", Scott said.

A few initial customers, including DigitalGlobe, BlackSky, Spire, Capella Space, Open Cosmos and HawkEye 360, are already accessing the antennas through a preview which started on 27 November. "Our collaboration with AWS allows us to deliver robust ground communications that will unlock new benefits for environmental research, scientific studies, security operations, and real-time news media".

Lockheed Martin's Verge, or Virtual Resilient Ground, is a cloud-based service for satellite ground control, using a compact, low cost antenna network.

The move will appeal to customers who want to migrate their operations to the cloud, or to new customers who want access to data. The systems are now piloting in Denver area.

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