AWS, Lockheed Partnership Brings Satellites Down to Earth

FUTURE TECH: VERGE (Virtual Resilient Ground), which includes small, cube-like antennas about the size of bookshelf stereo speaker, which will be deployed at the AWS Ground Stations to communicate with satellites.

AWS.Lockheed.antenna

LAS VEGAS--Amazon Web Services is teaming with satellite services provider DigitalGlobe and manufacturer Lockheed Martin on a venture to bring satellite data "down to Earth."

At AWS Re:Invent here, AWS CEO Andy Jassy announced AWS Ground Station, a new service that will be housed at AWS Cloud Regions around the globe.

Lockheed's contribution is called VERGE (Virtual Resilient Ground), which includes small, cube-like antennas about the size of bookshelf stereo speaker (pictured, with Lockheed Martin executive Rick Ambrose), which will be deployed at the AWS Ground Stations to communicate with satellites.

AWS Ground Station is dubbed a fully managed network of ground station antennas around the world in close proximity to AWS infrastructure regions. There are two Ground Stations set up today, and 12 more will be deployed in 2019, Jassy said.

AWS Ground Station will enable customers to schedule antenna time using standard AWS tools; downlink or uplink data; move data into AWS compute nodes for processing. It's all available on by-the-minute basis like all AWS services.

Working with Lockheed's antenna, AWS Ground Station services will piece together satellite data from around the globe and reconstruct it into image data, significantly speeding up the process, according to Lockheed's Executive Vice President of Space Systems, Rick Ambrose.

Jassy promised more details to be revealed in his Nov. 28 keynote. In introducing Ground Station, Jassy said that the project stems from customer requests to be able to more easily access data from satellites without having to build their own expensive infrastructure.

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 event followed the Nov. 27 Partner Keynote, which featured several announcements, including AWS Container Competency program, launching today with 17 partners, including HashiCorp. Also available today is the AWS Marketplace for Containers, with container management software available from 35 ISVs.

AWS also announced new IoT programs for partners, including the Device Qualification Program and the Device Partner Catalog.

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture,...