AWS Public Sector Blog

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. With this interactive CLI tool you now have a simple way to schedule AWS Ground Station satellite contacts directly from your terminal.

This 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:

  1. Schedule contacts with elevation and duration requirements
  2. Show contacts of the following types:

“SCHEDULED”, “SCHEDULING”, “FAILED_TO_SCHEDULE”, “AWS_CANCELLED”, “CANCELLED”, “COMPLETED“, ”FAILED“, ”AWS_CANCELLED“, ”AWS_FAILED“, ”CANCELLED“, ”FAILED_TO_SCHEDULE”

  1. Cancel scheduled contacts

Contacts with duration shorter than the whole craft pass are scheduled in the middle of the pass to maximize craft elevation.

The tool uses default AWS CLI credentials/region stored in the /.aws folder. Learn how to set up your AWS CLI.

Installing the AWS CLI tool for AWS Ground Station

Visit the tool’s GitHub repository and follow the installation instructions.

Examples of how to use the interactive 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.

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.

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.

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.

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