Scheduling satellite contact using AWS Ground Station and Python SDK
Manually navigating the AWS Ground Station Command Line Interface (CLI) requires knowledge of long Amazon Resource Names (ARN) for the mission profile and satellite, which can be a challenge to find. In this blog post, we present two interactive CLI tools that provide simple ways to schedule AWS Ground Station satellite contacts and also update AWS Ground Station mission profiles directly from your terminal.
These tools use default AWS CLI credentials/region stored in the /.aws folder. Learn how to set up your AWS CLI.
Scheduling satellite contact
The first CLI tool provides an alternative to using the web console for contact scheduling. The utility uses the python boto3 software development kit (SDK) to call the AWS Ground Station APIs. This tool streamlines the contact scheduling process by taking the user on a guided contact scheduling experience. It expands on the functionality available in the AWS Ground Station web console by:
- Scheduling/canceling multiple contacts at the same time, versus just one at a time in the web console
- Filtering contacts based on maximum elevation, versus no filtering based on maximum elevation in the web console
- Scheduling contacts with precise duration, versus only being able to schedule the whole pass in the web console
The tool has three functions:
- Schedule contacts with elevation and duration requirements
- Show contacts of the following types:
“SCHEDULED”, “SCHEDULING”, “FAILED_TO_SCHEDULE”, “AWS_CANCELLED”, “CANCELLED”, “COMPLETED“, ”FAILED“, ”AWS_CANCELLED“, ”AWS_FAILED“, ”CANCELLED“, ”FAILED_TO_SCHEDULE”
- Cancel scheduled contacts
Contacts with duration shorter than the whole craft pass are scheduled in the middle of the pass to maximize craft elevation.
Installing the contact scheduler AWS CLI tool for AWS Ground Station
Visit the contact scheduler tool’s GitHub repository and follow the installation instructions.
Examples of how to use the interactive contact scheduler AWS CLI tool for AWS Ground Station
The first example in Figure 1 is of scheduling two contacts at the same time with elevation and duration requirement.
Figure 1. An animated walkthrough of initiating the process to schedule two contacts at the same time with AWS CLI.
This next example in Figure 2 is of viewing contacts for a craft/mission profile combination:
Figure 2. An animated walkthrough of viewing contacts for a craft/mission profile combination in AWS CLI.
The last example in Figure 3 is of canceling scheduled contacts.
Figure 3. An animated walkthrough for canceling scheduled contacts with AWS CLI.
Once you’ve scheduled your contacts and downlinked your data to the ground, check out how you can process satellite imagery using a fully server-less architecture on AWS.
Updating mission profiles
The second CLI tool allows users to view and make changes to AWS Ground Station mission profiles. The AWS Ground Station web console does not show mission profile parameters, so viewing and manually updating mission profiles can be challenging. This tool facilitates the process of viewing and updating a mission profile, allowing for changes in a variety of parameters.
The tool has two functions:
- Showing details of an AWS Ground Station mission profile
- Updating the following AWS Ground Station mission profile parameters:
- Mission profile name
- Uplink power
- Uplink center frequency
- Uplink polarization
- Downlink polarization
- DigIF Downlink center frequency
- DigIF Downlink bandwidth
- Minimum viable contact duration
- Contact prepass duration
- Contact postpass duration
- Antenna tracking
Installing the mission profile update AWS CLI tool for AWS Ground Station
Visit the mission profile update tool’s GitHub repository and follow the installation instructions.
Examples of how to use the interactive mission profile update AWS CLI tool for AWS Ground Station
Figure 4 shows how to view a mission profile.
Figure 4. An animated walkthrough for viewing mission profiles with AWS CLI.
Figure 5 shows how to update mission profile name.
Figure 5. An animated walkthrough for updating mission profiles names with AWS CLI.
Figure 6 shows how to update Downlink polarization. Note that several other parameters of a mission profile can be updated, as previously listed, and this is only one example.
Figure 6. An animated walkthrough for updating Downlink polarization with AWS CLI.
Learn more about AWS Ground Station
AWS Ground Station is a fully managed service that lets you control satellite communications, process data, and scale your operations without having to worry about building or managing your own ground station infrastructure. Satellites are used for a wide variety of use cases, including weather forecasting, surface imaging, communications, and video broadcasts. Learn more about AWS Ground Station pricing.
Subscribe to the AWS Public Sector Blog newsletter to get the latest in AWS tools, solutions, and innovations from the public sector delivered to your inbox, or contact us.