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Lockheed Martin studies how to use a cloud of satellites for space missions

12 Jun 2019, 15:30 UTC
Lockheed Martin studies how to use a cloud of satellites for space missions
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NASA and Lockheed Martin have been studying how small satellites could be knit together into a distributed swarm. (NASA Illustration)
More and more computing is being done in the cloud, but so far, the cloud-based approach hasn’t been applied in space.
Lockheed Martin is thinking about changing that.
The aerospace giant has already registered two trademarks for satellite cloud systems — HiveStar and SpaceCloud — and it’s considering how the approach can be applied to a range of space missions.
Yvonne Hodge, vice president and chief information officer at Colorado-based Lockheed Martin Space, lifted the curtain on the HiveStar project last week at Amazon’s re:MARS conference in Las Vegas.
“It’s not just about collecting the data and then sending it back to the ground for processing,” Hodge said. “It’s about analyzing the information in space … and then sending the knowledge, the intelligence back to Earth.”
Yvonne Hodge is vice president and chief information officer at Lockheed Martin Space. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)
One of the keys to the HiveStar architecture is Lockheed Martin’s recently announced SmartSat project, which will allow small satellites to be reprogrammed in orbit as easily as adding an app to a smartphone.
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