AWS Public Sector Blog

Earth & Space on AWS Public Sector Summit 2019 Keynote – Recap

“The earth is breathing, the earth is speaking, but are we listening?” said Dr. Dava Newman, Apollo Program Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

From the warming of Earth over the decades to the resulting melting of the Greenland ice shelf (which can correspond to a 6-meter rise in sea levels), the Earth’s vital signs are real. “But we need to understand the Earth to save it,” said Lori Garver, CEO of Earthrise Alliance.

What can we all do to address these issues?

We can refocus on the one planet that we know for certain can sustain life: Earth. Using space imagery can help us better understand the environment and having access to data can drive change on Earth.

Both Dr. Dava Newman and Lori Garver stressed the importance of tapping a broader community, leveraging public-private partnerships, and recruiting students to learn and become passionate about science and technology. But in order to drive impactful change, everyone can help.

“We need artists, storytellers, and journalists to spread the word, too,” said Dr. Dava Newman.

To improve the understanding of our planet, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) announced the 21 projects from 17 developing countries that will be awarded $1.5 million USD worth of cloud services, grants, and technical support through the Earth Observation Cloud Credits Programme.

Additionally, Cal Poly announced the Satellite Data Solutions (SDS) Initiative to support the growing opportunity to solve the planet’s most critical challenges with low earth orbit (LEO) satellite data. The DxHub will work closely with the AWS Ground Station team to test and improve satellite connectivity and improve access to satellite-acquired data to solve problems. Through the DxHub and the SDS Initiative, students and faculty will have access to AWS services, technologies, and technical expertise to experiment with ‘born-in-the-cloud’ solutions that build upon space-based data analytics.

This keynote took place on Monday, June 10.

Follow along for the next two keynotes. On Tuesday, June 11th at 11:15 AM, we will hear from Teresa Carlson, Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector, along with:

  • Andrea Norris, Director for the Center for Information Technology and the Chief Information Officer, National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Morgan Reed, Chief Information Officer, State of Arizona
  • Kenny Bowen, Department of Defense Chief Information Officer for Special Access Programs (SAP) and Compartmented Access Programs
  • Honorable Susan (Sue) M. Gordon, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence (PDDNI)

Learn more about our keynote speakers here.

And don’t miss Andy Jassy, AWS CEO, for a fireside chat with Teresa on Wednesday, June 12th at 11:15 AM.