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Cloud Service providers are eyeing to expand their cloud computing Ground Stations

Cloud computing is an ever-growing technology with advantages beyond the scope of modern technology. Many companies are opting to move their resources to the cloud, enhancing their performance while utilizing the benefits which the cloud offers.

Many of the cloud computing services offer the start-ups to focus more on their software and deployment rather than focusing their resources on hardware Maintenance and cost. Even the gaming industry is adopting to cloud by introduction with the likes of Google Stadia and Xbox Cloud Streaming service.

Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services are the two leading cloud service providers in the market, with International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) being a close third. But the latest target of cloud computing seems to be located in space.

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With Microsoft deciding to offer its cloud services in space, it looks like all big three of cloud computing has their eyes set on the skies. Earlier IBM announced a beta of its Cloud Satellite service and almost two years ago; Amazon launched its AWS Ground Station that allows its customers to control their satellite communications, process data, and scale operations without building or managing their ground station infrastructure. AWS is even establishing a new space unit called the Aerospace and Satellite Solutions.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) reports that non-geostationary satellite orbits like the medium earth orbits and low earth orbits uses are increasing worldwide. NGSOs move across the sky while orbiting the earth, unlike the fixed geostationary satellite orbits. Space launch has become more affordable these days and many organizations are relying on satellites to establish their communications and for providing their services.

These satellites are used for services like weather forecasting, surface imaging, communications, and video broadcasting.

The applications of NGSOs are outstanding and many, the data from theses satellites still need to be processed and analysed in data centres that are located on the ground. These stations are called ‘Ground Stations’.

So, what are the cloud computing giants trying to achieve in space?

Building and operating a ground station can easily cost up to $1 million or more, which is too heavy for many businesses to afford. Not to mention that the data from the NGSOs need to be stored using huge data storage centres and they require a lot of computing power to be processed. These only stands to add even more cost for setting up a ‘Ground Station’.

 It’s pretty simple. The cloud computing service providers are offering the satellite operators their ground stations on a ‘pay-per-use’ or subscription basis. This allows organizations to rely on satellite operations to focus on the processing part and save a wholesome on capital expenditure costs.

These ground stations offer a faster analysis of the data with Artificial Intelligence tools resulting in much better operations from the satellite operators.

AWS is ahead of the competition by having NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and satellite operators Iridium Communications and even Spire Global as its customers. Private sector organizations such as Lockheed Martin, Maxar Technologies, and Capella Space are also utilizing AWS ground stations.

Ground stations offering cloud services are the next big thing in the cloud market and it looks like all the big three cloud service providers are eyeing to attract more customers to use their cloud computing ground stations. The destination is the sky people.


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Nivedita Bangari
Nivedita Bangari
I am a software engineer by profession and technology is my love, learning and playing with new technologies is my passion.

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