Preview of AWS Satellite ‘Ground station as a Service’ Hits

Amazon Web Services (AWS), a new product that allows companies to download and process satellite data at low cost, was unveiled at the re:Invent conference in Las Vegas.
AWS Ground Station is now available in preview. This “as-a-service” offering allows customers to use the AWS cloud to access any satellite data — such as live weather and topographical imagery — without having to buy, build, or maintain their own ground stations.
Instead, users can tap AWS’ 12 antennae located around the world to communicate with satellites. AWS allows users to schedule their satellite communication in advance and only pay for what they use. They can also process the collected satellite data with the AWS services that they have subscribed to. AWS claims that this process can reduce ground station costs by up to 80 percent.
Charlie Bell, Senior Vice President at AWS, stated in a prepared statement that satellite data is extremely useful for building many important applications. However, it is very difficult and costly to build and maintain the infrastructure required to do so. To communicate with a satellite, one must first buy, rent, or build the antennae, and then store, server, and network infrastructure to process the data. Customers often have to make these investments at multiple locations around the world in order to avoid waiting for a satellite pass over a single place.
Bell stated that satellite customers can now dynamically scale their ground station antenna usage based on their actual needs.
AWS Ground Station can be accessed from the AWS console. Here users can schedule their satellite connection and set up an EC2 instance to enable it. AWS says customers can access AWS Ground Station from their AWS console. They can control satellites and downlink data, store the data in Amazon Elastic Block Store, Amazon Elastic File Systems (Amazon EFS), Amazon S3, or Amazon S3, and use Amazon Virtual Private Cloud to secure communications between Amazon EC2 instances.
AWS Ground Station is currently used by DigitalGlobe and BlackSky, as well as Spire Global. AWS announced that Lockheed Martin is its partner to integrate AWS Ground Station’s Verge antenna network with the latter’s.
You can find more information about AWS Ground Station, including how you can access the preview, here.