Amazon creates ground stations distributed by satellite


Here's an interesting idea: it's possible to build a cubesat for around ten thousand dollars and take a free flight for a launch thanks to a NASA awareness program. followed this satellite throughout its orbit would need tens or hundreds of ground stations, all equipped with antennas and an Internet connection. Getting your data from a cube actually costs more than building a satellite.

This is the observation that someone at Amazon had to do. They developed AWS Ground Station, a system designed to transfer data from cubesats and other satellites into an entire orbit. At present, Amazon has only two ground stations, but it is expected to install a dozen by the middle of next year. Each of these ground stations is associated with a particular AWS region (there are a total of sixteen AWS regions, which could limit the orbiting of the AWS ground station system), and consists of an antenna, an altar mount, az and a huge database of servers and hard drives to capture data from satellites in orbit.

The blog of Amazon explains how easy it is to capture data from a satellite. Simply obtain a NORAD ID, log in to your AWS account and click a few buttons.

It goes without saying that it's exactly the same idea behind SatNOGS, a worldwide open source ground source network and winner of the 2014 Hackaday Award. One of their ground stations is the one shown at the top of this article. At the present time, SatNOGS has more than seventy ground stations in the network, including a few stations located in very useful locations such as the Canary Islands. The SatNOGS network already has a much larger coverage than the maximum of sixteen sites where Amazon has its data centers, which is made possible by its open nature. Once again, congratulations to the SatNOGS team for creating something so useful, four years before Amazon.


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