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David J Eddy
David J Eddy

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How long until we can all access satellite data? Not long if AWS has its way...

Cross posted from my blog.

Image, if you will, you work for a lumber company. This lumber company needs a way to reduce costs concerning observing and tracking the millions of acres of land they won used in the growing of trees. Traditionally someone has to been sent out to the properties and take recordings of the growth rate, health, and population of the trees. This cost is a major budget factor in the companies expansion plans in to other market opportunities.

You know what would be great? If your company could use existing commercial observation satellites in orbit. 'That would be awesome' you think. But even with the decrease in launch costs the ground based physical infrastructure would be expensive. Downlink hardware, operations of the location, command and control. Bummer, would have been awesome.

Enter 'Ground Station'; '...fully managed Ground Stations-as-a-Service (GSaaS) satellite communication, downlink, and process satellite data...'. If you are thinking "No way; this has to be a prank.", then you are not alone. When the initial announcement was made the image in the blog article had a lego model as a demo of the hardware. This made to be a prank, right?

This has to be a joke, right?

As far as I can tell, nope. Though it does look like the current state of the service is invite approval only AND you still have to have your own satellite. The sign up for requires your Satellite ID assigned from NORAD/USSPACECOM.

Space...the final frontier. These are the voyages of the...opps, wrong blog.

Reality check time: Ground Station is an invite only, bring your own orbiting hardware, early release program. But still, the audacity / guts to rent ground based command and control systems. Wow. So I signed up. No, I do not have my own satellite (yet ^_^) but I am hoping there are publically accessible ones for citizen scientist I could interface with. I'll let you know if I get accepted.

So what are you thoughts? Is AWS going to take over the satellite C&C industry next? Is this SkyNet in the making? Is this the beginning of the Elon's Space Empire? LEt me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Top comments (6)

rhymes profile image

Don't know about SkyNet but in the last few years I'm solidifying an idea in my brain that Amazon's objective is to dominate every single market they can enter, which eventually it will be... all markets.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Is AWS going to take over the satellite C&C industry next? Is this SkyNet in the making?

I’d guess that anything important that AWS does, GCP, and perhaps Azure and IBM and the rest, will follow.

If there’s a Skynet to be had, Google’s going to want in on the action.

phlash profile image
Phil Ashby

It's an interesting proposal, built on the same premise as data centre rental: nobody wants to commit $millions to building ground station(s) only to discover their relatively cheap space segment / Cubesat (< $200k launched cost) is a hunk of junk.. or that great idea doesn't actually work out.

For an alternative, open source approach, you might like to know about, who collect satellite transmissions from volunteer organisations and individuals all across the globe and publish through an API. Then there are team-specific data collectors such as AMSAT-UKs data warehouse: :)

bauripalash profile image
Palash Bauri 👻

SKYNET!! 😯 😓

What's happening on Earth.. AI..Genetically Modified Babies...Now this skynet!😞

Seems like the SciFi Universe and Earth 616 is merging!😯

It's time for assembling a group of remarkable people!

Sloan, the sloth mascot
Comment deleted
puritanic profile image
Darkø Tasevski

Grammar Nazi

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