Microsoft wants to connect satellites to the cloud


Microsoft is looking to challenge Amazon to provide a direct satellite connection to the company’s cloud computing network, according to documents the company provided to the Federal Communications Commission last month.

Connecting satellites directly to the cloud computing network illustrates how the largest providers of cloud infrastructure are regularly striving to compete.

In this way, companies can appear ready and willing to fulfill the many needs of a potential customer.

Microsoft plans to link a Spanish imaging satellite to two ground stations – both located in Washington state – to show that it can download satellite data directly to Azure Cloud for immediate processing, the FCC documents said.

The earth station, sometimes called an earth station, is the vital link for sending data to and from satellites in orbit.

In particular, the software giant has suggested finding one of the same ground stations at its data center in Quincy.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on September 2 authorized Microsoft to conduct demos to validate the service.

The authorization gives the software giant a six-month license to download communications data and images.

The Spanish satellite, Deimos-2, was launched into orbit in June 2014 and is operated by a subsidiary of UrtheCast.

For the tests, the Deimos-2 satellite will be within range of Microsoft’s antennas for only a few minutes.

In a different FCC file, the company said: It wants to make presentations before and after the Ignite IT Professionals Conference, which will take place on September 22nd.

“If the demos are successful, Microsoft will apply for a regular ground station with the International Bureau (IB) to support future business operations, including a request for DEIMOS-2 to reach the US market,” the company wrote.

Amazon leads the growing cloud computing market, with 45 percent in 2019, while Microsoft owns about 18 percent, and Microsoft has a website that lists the services available from AWS and their corresponding offers.

Cloud infrastructure provides most of Amazon’s operating income, and for Microsoft, its cloud infrastructure is growing faster than other prominent areas, such as Windows.

Microsoft explained that it wants to show satellite companies the potential benefits of connecting directly to the Azure cloud, by building a network of ground stations.

Microsoft’s strategy closely matches the one set by Amazon in November 2018 when it launched the AWS Ground Station, making tech giants confront each other in a new world of cloud computing services.

And Amazon says: The (AWS) ground station can communicate with a wide range of satellites in low and medium Earth orbits.

The company prides itself that the AWS ground station reduces the time it takes to process and analyze satellite data from hours to minutes or seconds, while saving up to 80 percent of the cost to customers in terms of traditional earth station operations.


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