Companies that used satellite technology prior to this point were responsible for purchasing all ground station infrastructure. This includes buying the land, buildings, hardware and all additional expenses associated with constructing and deploying a ground station. In addition to the cost of the infrastructure, the satellite data has to be downloaded and forwarded on for further analysis. All of these costs can be greatly reduced with the use of AWS Ground Station. Companies can save up to 80% according to Amazon Web Services. This innovative AWS offering will greatly improve the efficiency and scalability for companies to manage satellite communications data.
There are 12 regional stations with two antennas per station . Each station is in close proximity to current AWS infrastructure regions. There is the option of conducting all data operations in the AWS cloud or data can be downloaded and processed in your own data center. The AWS Ground Station console can identify satellites to communicate with and contact can be established. After contacts are scheduled, EC2 instances can be launched to process the data. A Downlink EC2 instance can also be launched to receive bulk data transmissions.
The ease of using the Ground Station console is another major selling point of AWS Ground Station. The interface is a graphical console that identifies satellites and their locations. Communicating with and scheduling satellites is easy. Reservations and schedule revisions can be made directly from the console interface. The possibility of direct access drastically reduces the time to process data from what may have been hours before to minutes or seconds now. In a similar model to AWS services, scheduled access to antennas is paid for by the minute and only for the scheduled time of use. Any of the antennas can be accessed and there are no long-term contracts required.
Supported Orbits & Frequencies
- Low Earth Orbit (LEO), Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)
- Simultaneous narrowband S-band, X-band, UHF downlink and uplink
- 12 regional ground station with global coverage
During re:Invent 2018 there were several case examples presented and below are summaries of two cases:
Data processed prior to and during a natural disaster can be immediately analyzed and used by rescue personnel and medical facilities to take quicker action.
Downlinked weather data from all over the world can be used to make more accurate weather predictions. The more accurate data can then be used to improve logistics in the affected areas. Ships, airplanes, carrier trucks and people will be able to make safety and scheduling decisions based on the information.