Here’s an fascinating thought: it’s attainable to construct a cubesat for maybe ten thousand , and hitch a experience on a launch at no cost due to a NASA outreach program. Tracking that satellite tv for pc alongside its whole orbit would require dozens or tons of of floor stations, all outfitted with antennas and a connection to the Internet. Getting your knowledge down from a cubesat truly prices greater than constructing a satellite tv for pc.
This is the commentary somebody at Amazon should have made. They’ve developed the AWS Ground Station, a system designed to downlink knowledge from cubesats and different satellites throughout a complete orbit. Right now, Amazon solely has two floor stations connected, however they plan to have a dozen in place by the center of subsequent yr. Each of those floor stations are related to a selected AWS area (there are a complete of sixteen AWS areas, which could restrict the orbital protection of the AWS Ground Station system), and consists of an antenna, an alt-az mount, and a huge financial institution of servers and exhausting drives to seize knowledge from satellites orbiting overhead.
The Amazon weblog put up goes over how straightforward it’s to seize knowledge from a satellite tv for pc, and it’s as straightforward as getting a NORAD ID, logging into your AWS account, and clicking a number of buttons.
It ought to go with out point out that that is the very same concept behind SatNOGS, an Open Source international community of satellite tv for pc floor stations and winner of the 2014 Hackaday Prize. One of their floor stations is what’s pictured on the prime if this text. Right now, SatNOGS has over seventy ground stations in the network, together with a number of stations which are in very helpful places just like the Canary Islands. The SatNOGS community already has much more protection than the utmost of sixteen places the place Amazon has their knowledge facilities — made attainable by its open nature. Congrats to the SatNOGS workforce as soon as once more for creating one thing so helpful, and doing it 4 years earlier than Amazon.