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How AWS Ground Station is breaking its giant leap for satellite links into small steps

10 Jun 2019, 15:00 UTC
How AWS Ground Station is breaking its giant leap for satellite links into small steps
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An artist’s conception shows Capella Space’s radar satellite in orbit. (Capella Space Illustration)
LAS VEGAS – Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says his company has gotten so big that it has to branch out into business lines that “move the needle,” like the recently revealed Project Kuiper broadband satellite constellation.
But Project Kuiper isn’t Amazon’s only potentially needle-moving satellite venture: Amazon Web Services’ effort to create a network of ground stations and an easy-to-use satellite control interface is a similarly big bet for the Seattle-based company.
At least that’s how Shayn Hawthorne, general manager for AWS Ground Station, sees the situation.
“We really believe that we’re going to be a clearinghouse to provide ubiquitous communications to the world,” he told GeekWire during Amazon’s re:MARS conference in Las Vegas. “Jeff’s talking about Kuiper in that context, and that’s a very specific use case. That’s a broadband internet provider to the world. But there’s going to be a whole lot of other mission areas that we want to bring into AWS and connect to the internet and the world as well.”
The first and the biggest mission area for AWS Ground Station has to do with Earth observation. That market is mushrooming, thanks ...

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