Industry Insights

Satellogic uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) Ground Station

Earth Observation data collection technology company Satellogic uses AWS to scale its live earth catalog.

WGIC Secretariat October 7, 2021
Satellogic Uses AWS Ground Station to Scale Services and Deliver Insights to Customers Faster

The expanded collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) now includes the use of AWS Ground Station. The company is leveraging AWS Ground Station to quickly and cost-efficiently scale their satellite data acquisition processes. Also, they are going to deliver data directly to AWS for processing and analysis so that customers can make decisions faster. At this moment, Satellogic has seventeen commercial satellites in low earth orbit. It plans to grow its constellation to more than threehundred satellites by 2025.

Right now, Satellogic is creating a live catalog of earth and delivering daily updates. This way, the company is in the process of creating a complete picture of the planet. Satellogic uses AWS to scale this live earth catalog, enhance customer experiences, decrease data processing times, and optimize costs. The company’s mission is ‘to democratize access to geospatial data through its information platform to help solve the world’s most pressing problems including climate change, energy supply, and food security’. Using its patented earth imaging technology, Satellogic ‘unlocks the power of Earth Observation to deliver high-quality, planetary insights at the lowest cost in the industry’.

AWS Ground Station

AWS Ground Station helps control satellite operations. More specifically, it ingests satellite data, and integrates these data with applications and other cloud services running in AWS. There’s a global network of AWS satellite ground station systems. This helps customers manage satellite communications without having to build or manage their own ground-station infrastructure. “AWS Ground Station makes it easy for us to scale acquisition processes thanks to the automation that we can achieve through its APIs. And, on top of that, we do not have to worry about the backhauling of the data from the ground stations to our processing pipelines. AWS Ground Station delivers the data exactly where we need it. This helps Satellogic to scale, increase performance, and lower costs,” said Alan Kharsansky, VP of Mission Operations at Satellogic. 

Today, each Satellogic spacecraft generates as much as 50GB of data daily. As Satellogic’s constellation’s capabilities expand, the company expects the amount of imagery downlinked data to grow 10-fold. First and foremost, this is driving the need to spin up ground station infrastructure. Then again, one needs to scale it back down when resources are not needed. “AWS is thrilled to help Satellogic enhance customers’ experiences, decrease data processing times. It optimizes costs as it expands its constellation to more than 300 satellites by 2025. And it builds out its live catalog of Earth. Satellogic is able to schedule satellite contacts with AWS Ground Station locations around the world and take advantage of Amazon’s low-latency, high-bandwidth global network to deliver data and make mission-critical decisions faster,” said Jim Caggy, General Manager, AWS Ground Station.

Other Amazon services and features

Among the AWS services and features that can be accessed are Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). This provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud for optimizing network scheduling and load balancing. Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) lets customers securely access petabytes of data on demand, paying only for the capacity they actually use. Satellogic also uses Amazon CloudWatch for network monitoring and application level system monitoring; the Amazon CloudFront content delivery network (CDN) which securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to customers globally with low latency and high transfer speeds; and, AWS Site-to-Site VPN for secure ground site/cloud connection.