Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Microsoft intros Azure Orbital - Ground-station-as-a-Service

 Microsoft unveiled Azure Orbital, a new ground station service that enables satellite operators to communicate to and control their satellites, process data, and scale operations directly with Microsoft Azure. 

In addition to bringing better cloud connectivity to remote locations, Microsoft believes the new service will be especially useful for  meteorology, oceanography, agriculture, geology, and defense and intelligence communities who most often use satellites that are in a non-geostationary orbit (NGSO), including low-earth orbit (LEO) or medium-earth orbit (MEO). This is because a substantial amount of ground stations are required to establish contact with orbiting satellites within a specific time window to downlink the data to Earth.

Azure Orbital will figure out the ground station connectivity and then on-ramp satellite-collected data directly into Azure. 

The initial service is now in testing.