Amazon Web Services launches satellite business

Amazon's Cloud arm AWS enters lucrative satellite data market

By joining hands, Lockheed Martin and AWS can provide satellite operators with a complete connectivity solution coupled with ground architecture, and cloud environment for integrated satellite and data management operations.

We are giving customers tools that remove the cost and complexity of building applications at the edge with rich data sources to drive better business decision-making, said Dirk Didascalou, VP of IoT, AWS.

Once customers receive satellite data at a Ground Station, they can immediately process it in an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), store it in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), apply AWS analytics and Machine Learning (ML) services to gain insights, and use Amazon's network to move the data to other regions and processing facilities.

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"I wouldn't be surprised if in five years they have hundreds of ground stations around the world", Platzer said. "Spire has built one of the world's largest ground station networks ... and now imagine that Amazon does all of that and the only thing that Spire does is rents capacity on the ground station".

C5n instances significantly increase the maximum throughput performance available in AWS's compute-intensive instance family.

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

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AWS CEO Andy Jassy pointed out that they hadn't really considered a service like this until they had customers asking for it. "Customers said that we have so much data in space with so many applications that want to use that 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), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced that The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian) has selected AWS as its preferred cloud provider, and is moving the majority of its workloads to AWS for greater agility, reliability, and functionality.

Digital Globe Founder Dr Walter Scott, also CTO of Maxar Technologies, said, "Using AWS helps crunch data at speed and helps governments and companies use lossless data to study incidents and expand operations". Thousands of satellites are orbiting Earth collecting data. This allows reduction in data processing and analysis times - from hours to minutes or seconds - for use cases like weather prediction or natural disaster imagery.

Lockheed Martin has developed the Verge Antennae network to support the capture and delivery of satellite data to AWS.

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AWS also announced a strategic collaboration with Lockheed Martin to integrate the new AWS Ground Station service with the global security and aerospace giant's new "Verge" antenna network.

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