AWS Public Sector Blog

What we learned at Amazon re:MARS 2022 for the public sector

From the high-pressured steam engines developed in the 1800s; to the power-controlled flights in the 1900s; to the first stored program computer by Dr. Alan Turing in 1945; to Sputnik 1, the first orbiting space satellite in 1957; to putting the first astronaut on the Moon in 1969—humans have come a long way with technological advancements that completely transform what we think is possible. The progress we have made is impressive. However, there is still so much to discover. Today, scientists and visionaries around the world are working hard to develop the next-generation technologies that will shape our future.

The Amazon re:MARS 2022 conference brought together some of these thought leaders, technical experts, and groundbreaking companies and organizations that are transforming what’s possible in machine learning (ML), automation, robotics, and space. Advancements in these fields are the engines that will drive innovation for the next 100 years. Read on to learn about announcements from re:MARS related to the public sector, plus some of the innovative organizations and companies that were onsite to inspire guests with breakthrough technologies and ideas.

Delivering the power of the cloud to the ultimate edge

Amazon Web Services (AWS) collaborated with Axiom Space to send an AWS Snowcone, an edge computing and storage device, into space on the Axiom Mission 1 to the International Space Station (ISS). To certify the Snowcone, AWS had to run it through thermal, vacuum, acoustic, and vibration testing with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). At re:MARS 2022, AWS announced that the combined Axiom Space and AWS team successfully communicated remotely with the Snowcone on the ISS, and the team performed edge processing on space-based datasets. Read more about this accomplishment.

Democratizing access to space to accelerate innovation

Access to both public and private funding is driving space expansion. At re:MARS 2022, the following organizations and companies presented how they’re using new technologies to break new ground in the aerospace and satellite sector:

Blue Origin is building Orbital Reef, the first mixed-use space station in low Earth orbit (LEO) for commerce, research, and tourism. Orbital Reef will unlock access to LEO by reducing cost and complexity so new customers can perform a dynamic spectrum of capabilities, from space commerce to research. It will provide end-to-end services, standard interfaces, and technical support needed by space flight novices: planning, payload development, training, transportation, data analysis, and security for people or payloads (or both). Blue Origin and Sierra Space will deliver Orbital Reef in this decade, working with Boeing, Redwire Space, Genesis Engineering Solutions, and Arizona State University. Read more about the Orbital Reef initiative here.

Millions of satellite images are taken every single day from satellites. Companies are harnessing the power of geospatial data with artificial intelligence (AI) to accurately predict supply chain disruptions, economic volatility, climate change, deforestation, and more. Orbital Insights combs through billions of data points, including satellite images, sensor data, and location data, and applies AI to analyze those billions of data points with ML to enable customers to see the world in a new, dynamic way.

Lunar Outpost is supporting Nokia’s LTE/4G NASA Tipping Point project with Intuitive Machines, to build, integrate, and test the first-ever LTE/4G network on the surface of the Moon. One of the primary objectives of this initiative is to support proximity communications for lunar operations and future human spaceflight, as well as to begin building important infrastructure that will enable rapid growth in the economy between the Earth and the Moon. Nokia Bell Labs will utilize the Lunar Outpost Mobile Autonomous Prospecting Platform (MAPP) rover for this mission. The MAPP rover will provide the payload, mobility, and communications needed to successfully study the capabilities of the LTE/4G communications system on the surface of the Moon.

Streamlining access to sustainability data and hackathons to help grow your startup

To help create and accelerate sustainability solutions, the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI) announced a simpler identification of sustainability datasets with integration in AWS Data Exchange, and also announced the launch of a sustainability hackathon. The integration with AWS Data Exchange gives researchers streamlined access across third-party data sources so they can now search and obtain the data assets needed to support sustainability solutions, all in one location. ASDI also launched the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative Global Hackathon, part of a new collaboration with the International Research Centre in Artificial Intelligence, under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Participants can compete for a total of $100,000 in prizes. Read more about these ASDI initiatives here.

Using automation to enable communication for those who cannot

There are roughly 100 million people who are physically challenged or paralyzed and unable to access the regular tasks of online communication in this highly digitized world, like banking, shopping, trading, collaborating, and communicating with their loved ones. The founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Synchron and neurologist Dr. Thomas Oxley is using automation to develop an endovascular brain computer interface (BCI) to transform three medical verticals: neuroprosthetics, neuromodulation, and neurodiagnostics. Synchron showcased a neuroprosthetic technology that uses a brain implant to enable people to interface with computers using their thoughts. A 62-year-old Australian man paralyzed following his diagnosis with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has become the first individual to send out a message on social media using a BCI. Watch Dr. Oxley discuss this groundbreaking technology during the re:MARS Day 2 keynote here.

Launching new ML services to improve developer productivity and build synthetic data

Amazon CodeWhisperer is an ML-powered service that helps improve developer productivity by generating code recommendations based on developers’ comments in natural language and their code in an integrated development environment (IDE). While the service is in preview, Amazon CodeWhisperer is available for Java, JavaScript, and Python programming languages. The service integrates with multiple IDEs, including JetBrains (IntelliJ, PyCharm, and WebStorm), Visual Studio Code, AWS Cloud9, and the AWS Lambda console. Read more about Amazon CodeWhisperer here.

Amazon SageMaker Ground Truth can generate labeled synthetic data on your behalf so that you can use synthetic data with real-world data to train ML models across a wide range of computer vision use cases, including edge cases that might be difficult to find and replicate in real-world data, like disaster response scenarios. Users can specify synthetic image requirements or provide three-dimensional (3D) assets and baseline images, and AWS digital artists can generate hundreds of thousands of synthetic images that are automatically labeled. The generated images imitate pose and placement of objects, include object or scene variations, and optionally add specific inclusions, such as scratches, dents, and other alterations that are not often included in ML training datasets. Read more about synthetic data generation support in Amazon SageMaker Ground Truth here.

More from re:MARS 2022

If you couldn’t attend re:MARS this year and want to learn more, the breakout sessions and keynotes are available to stream on-demand now. Dive deep into breakout sessions for machine learning, automation, robotics, and space. Plus, don’t miss the keynote events, which featured speakers like Adam Savage from; Michio Kaku, author, science and TV correspondent, and radio host; Nicola Fox, director of the Heliophysics Division at NASA; and many more. Plus, here are six more cool things from re:MARS 2022.

Learn more about how AWS enables successful space missions and more in the AWS for Aerospace and Satellite Hub.

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