AWS Ground Station

Easily control satellites and ingest data with fully managed Ground Station as a Service

AWS Ground Station is a fully managed service that lets you control satellite communications, downlink and process satellite data, and scale your satellite operations quickly, easily and cost-effectively 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. Ground stations are at the core of global satellite networks, which are facilities that provide communications between the ground and the satellites by using antennas to receive data and control systems to send radio signals to command and control the satellite. Today, you must either build your own ground stations and antennas, or obtain long-term leases with ground station providers, often in multiple countries to provide enough opportunities to contact the satellites as they orbit the globe. Once all this data is downloaded, you need servers, storage, and networking in close proximity to the antennas to process, store, and transport the data from the satellites.

AWS Ground Station eliminates these problems by delivering a global Ground Station as a Service. We provide direct access to AWS services and the AWS Global Infrastructure including our low-latency global fiber network right where your data is downloaded into our AWS Ground Station. This enables you to easily control satellite communications, quickly ingest and process your satellite data, and rapidly integrate that data with your applications and other services running in the AWS Cloud. For example, you can use Amazon S3 to store the downloaded data, Amazon Kinesis Data Streams for managing data ingestion from satellites, Amazon SageMaker for building custom machine learning applications that apply to your data sets, and Amazon EC2 to command and download data from satellites. AWS Ground Station can help you save up to 80% on the cost of your ground station operations by allowing you to pay only for the actual antenna time used, and relying on our global footprint of ground stations to download data when and where you need it, instead of building and operating your own global ground station infrastructure. There are no long-term commitments, and you gain the ability to rapidly scale your satellite communications on-demand when your business needs it.

How it works

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Benefits

Ground Station as a Service

AWS Ground Station provides a global network of 12 ground stations in close proximity to our global network of AWS infrastructure regions. With AWS Ground Station, you no longer need to worry about buying, leasing, building, scaling or managing your own satellite ground stations.

Pay for usage

With AWS Ground Station, you only pay for the actual antenna time you use. There are no long-term contracts, or hidden add-on fees. With a single price, you can use any antenna in the global AWS Ground Station network.

Self-service scheduling

It’s simple and easy to schedule satellite times, so you can download data, and command and control your satellites using the AWS Management Console and APIs.

Faster data downloads

With two antennas installed at each AWS Ground Station location, you can download satellite data to 24 AWS Ground Station antennas worldwide and use it rapidly. With AWS Ground Station’s global network of antennas, and easy and simple satellite scheduling on-demand, you can download your satellite data much faster and when you need it, without significant delays due to antenna scheduling delays and conflicts.

Immediate data processing

AWS Ground Station provides satellite antennas in close proximity to a dozen AWS infrastructure regions, giving you low-latency and low-cost access to AWS services to store and process your data. This allows you to reduce data processing and analysis times for use cases like weather prediction or natural disaster imagery from hours to minutes or seconds.

Use cases

Natural disasters

During natural disasters you can rapidly analyze downlinked imagery data to identify survivors, assess structural damages, and rapidly stream this data to first responders and rescue teams. You can apply analytics and machine learning to this data to identify the safest exit routes and best locations for temporary shelters and emergency medical facilities.

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Accurate weather prediction

You can use the AWS Cloud to analyze downlinked weather data from all over the world to more accurately predict weather patterns. This can be used to help ships, airplanes, trucks and people increase their awareness of inclement weather in their area and then safely and efficiently avoid dangerous situations.

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Business trends assessment

You can use radar satellite imagery of your various business facilities such as parking lots, logistic centers, and retail stores to autonomously measure cars, traffic and customer flow patterns, even when it's dark or cloudy weather conditions. You can combine this with other AWS services like analytics and machine learning, along with time of day and weather conditions, to assess business and operational trends in real-time. These insights can be rapidly streamed to relevant business analysts and decision makers anywhere in the world.

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"We employ AWS Ground Station to augment the capabilities of our global network of ground station antennas. With greater connectivity to DigitalGlobe’s high-resolution constellation and more downlink capacity, our collection planning teams can now optimize the interval from planning to image collection, downlink, and analysis – especially valuable when time matters."

Jeff Culwell
Chief Operations Office, DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company

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