Amazon Web Services is set to launch a satellite connection service that will make it faster for satellite operators to retrieve and secure their data. This heralds the company’s initial foray into space-linked hardware and will continue Amazon’s endeavors to assist the expanding industry.
Amazon revealed its plans of building twelve satellite transmission facilities in different parts of the world during its yearly re:Invent conference. These “ground stations” are basically outposts equipped with antennas and are essential to transmitting and receiving data from the thousands of satellites currently orbiting our planet.
AWS Ground Station is a fully managed Ground Station as a Service to easily control satellites, downlink & process satellite data on-demand, and innovate rapidly using other AWS services. #reInvent https://t.co/Wdma9PL69R pic.twitter.com/ozfXBnf8xT
— Amazon Web Services (@awscloud) November 27, 2018
AWS will reportedly allow its customers to rent access to the ground stations the same way that access to its data centers is leased. This means companies that do not typically have the financial capabilities to develop and operate their own satellite transmission base can now have access to these services on-demand.
AWS Senior Vice President Charlie Bell explained in a statement how satellite data is vital “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.” But with AWS’ new service, customers can scale their satellite use based on their need.
Once their clients have paid for the access, they can download, process, and save the retrieved satellite data. They can also process their data using AWS services, like for analytics, storage, processing, and streaming. This can simplify the workflow and get the information out to developers quickly.
The new satellite service can open up more opportunities for companies to be more creative with how they leverage information or data. For instance, live concerts or satellite photos of various regions can now be beamed anywhere in the world. Satellite data can also be used to save lives, like rescuing people lost at sea or when fighting ground fires.
The ground stations will certainly make a big difference. Right now, governments and businesses who want to utilize satellite data for communications, weather forecasting, or surface imaging purposes need to invest in expensive infrastructure to do so. But with the AWS Ground Station, the cost of data retrieval and processing will be greatly reduced since the company will handle everything.
There’s no word yet on the exact prices AWS will demand for its services, and Amazon isn’t sharing how much it will cost them to build the satellite stations. But pricing for the use of the stations will reportedly be computed per minute of downlink time, with options to pay for blocks of time in advance set to be offered as well.
[Featured image via Pixabay]