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AWS, Lockheed Martin team up to make downlinking satellite data easier

On November 27, at AWS re:Invent, Seattle, WA-based Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company and Bethesda, MD-based Lockheed Martin announced a strategic collaboration to integrate the new AWS Ground Station service with Lockheed Martin’s new Verge antenna network. AWS and Lockheed Martin are bringing these two highly capable systems together to provide a solution that addresses customer needs for resilient satellite uplinks and downlinks. Through this integration, customers using AWS Ground Station gain the ability to download data from multiple satellites at the same time and to continue downloading data even when unplanned outages like a weather event impact parts of the network. And, Lockheed Martin Verge customers benefit from being able to upload satellite commands and data through AWS Ground Station and to quickly download large amounts of data over the high-speed AWS Ground Station network. Both Lockheed Martin Verge and AWS Ground Station customers can now integrate satellite data with the rich portfolio of AWS services, including compute, storage, analytics, and machine learning.

Immediate and continuous access to the latest satellite data is critical in use cases such as public safety, military missions in fast-evolving threat environments, and real-time weather observations for cargo ships and airlines. Today, there are thousands of satellites orbiting the earth and collecting data, including Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, which are ideal for collecting data for Earth observation and currently comprise about 63 percent of the active satellites now in orbit, according to United Nations data. Traditionally, government organizations or enterprises who have required access to satellite data needed to build or lease ground antennas to communicate with the satellites at significant cost and effort. Further, customers often require antennas in multiple countries and U.S. locations to download data when and where they need it without waiting for the satellite to pass over a desired location. All of this requires significant capital investments and operational costs to build, manage, and maintain antennas, compute infrastructure, and business logic at each antenna location. By combining Lockheed Martin’s distributed network of satellite receivers with direct AWS Ground Station access, the two companies are delivering a next-generation space solution that will help address the growing need for satellite ground communications and data management while reducing capacity constraints and enabling satellite customers to scale their satellite data downlinks in real-time to meet unanticipated demand across a broad variety of situations.

“Together, AWS and Lockheed Martin are providing satellite operators increased flexibility, resiliency, and scale in a complete connectivity solution, ground architecture, and cloud environment for integrated satellite and data management operations,” said Rick Ambrose, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space. “Our collaboration with AWS allows us to deliver robust ground communications that will unlock new benefits for environmental research, scientific studies, security operations, and real-time news media. In time, with satellites built to take full advantage of the distributed Verge network, AWS and Lockheed Martin expect to see customers develop surprising new capabilities using the service.”

“AWS and Lockheed Martin have a long, deep relationship and over the past several years it’s become apparent that together we could bring greater capabilities to our public sector and commercial customers,” said Teresa Carlson, vice president, Worldwide Public Sector for AWS. “Today we are taking the next step in this relationship. The integration of AWS Ground Station with Lockheed Martin Verge brings the unique capabilities of both companies to mutual customers, enabling them to control satellites across both networks and downlink data faster with more resiliency.”

Source: Lockheed Martin