AWS launches 'Ground Station-as-a-service' for satellite industry

Amazon Web Services announces its own custom-designed ARM server processor

AWS launches custom-built Arm-based Graviton CPU

Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company, announced that United States biotechnology company Amgen is moving the vast majority of its cloud infrastructure to AWS to accelerate innovation, drive cost efficiencies, and unlock new insights from data to help provide new treatments to patients with serious illnesses. "Not what you expected", was how he concluded the first announcement of a very niche Ground Station-as-a-service solution for the satellite industry. Those who know how much capacity they will need well in advance can book ahead and pay less for downlink time. They can rely on AWS's global footprint of ground stations to downlink data when and where they need it, says AWS.

The service launched Tuesday in preview at a couple ground stations, with 10 more to be added in 2019, Jassy said. First up were A1 instances powered by Amazon's new 64-bit ARM-based Graviton processor (yes, AWS is now designing silicon) which it says will offer up to 45 percent cost savings compared with Amazon EC2 general objective instances, welcome news to partners with customers experiences some cloud sticker shock. "Our commitment to our highly regulated customers and helping them leverage the latest AWS Cloud services is a driving force behind this achievement", said Suresh Venkatachari, Chief Executive Officer of 8K Miles.

Jassy said this product was "something that originated out of customer input", with the likes of the European Space Agency, Jeff Bezos' own Blue Origin and the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab existing AWS customers.


Because many AWS Ground Station antennas are co-located with AWS Regions, both AWS and Lockheed Martin customers gain low-latency, local access to other AWS services to process and store this data.

AWS will kick off the new service by opening its first two ground stations this week. And, Lockheed Martin Verge customers benefit from being able to upload satellite commands and data through AWS Ground Station and to quickly download large amounts of data over the high-speed AWS Ground Station network.

AWS RoboMaker extends Robot Operating System (ROS), which is the most widely used open source robotics software framework, with connectivity to AWS services including machine learning, monitoring, and analytics services to enable a robot to stream data, navigate, communicate, comprehend, and learn. This will be a game changer in IAAS industry. A ground station is the vital link for transmitting data to-and-from satellites in orbit.


Lockheed Martin has developed the Verge Antennae network to support the capture and delivery of satellite data to AWS. They can get access to a ground station on short notice to handle a special event such as severe weather, a natural disaster, or a sporting event.

That's why AWS has partnered with Lockheed Martin to create a small, one-square-foot antenna that will form the core of a network of multiple antennae across the world to pick up data from satellites.


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