How do you process space data and imagery in low earth orbit?

Fri, 24 Jun 2022 06:12:01 GMT
Space Daily

Seattle WA (SPX) Jun 24, 2022 Aerospace organizations around the globe, including Axiom Space, are...

Aerospace organizations around the globe, including Axiom Space, are developing new ideas for how humans will explore, conduct research, and do business in low Earth orbit when the International Space Station is retired at the end of this decade.

Regardless of what the next commercial space stations may look like, one thing is certain: humanity's desire for on-orbit scientific research and technological discovery will continue.

Amazon Web Services recently collaborated with Axiom Space on a more efficient way to analyze data from their Axiom Mission 1, the first all-private mission to the ISS, by using an AWS Snowcone solid state drive device.

This demonstration marks the first time that AWS has remotely operated a general-purpose edge processing and storage device on the ISS. "AWS is committed to eliminating the traditional barriers encountered in a space environment, including latency and bandwidth limitations," said Clint Crosier, director of Aerospace and Satellite at AWS. "Performing imagery analysis close to the source of the data, on orbit, is a tremendous advantage because it can improve response times and allow the crew to focus on other mission-critical tasks. This demonstration will help our teams assess how we can make edge processing a capability available to crews for future space missions."

"Axiom Space's Ax-1 mission was a historic mission aimed to expand commercial opportunities in space and open doors for more science and technology demonstrations that can improve life in orbit, as we saw with Axiom and AWS Snowcone," said Tejpaul Bhatia, chief revenue officer of Axiom Space.

Ax-1 is one of several private space missions Axiom Space has planned to the ISS as it builds the world's first commercial space station.

"We are excited to leverage AWS capabilities and are investigating future applications to help catalog various forms of data in a space station, from managing inventory to expediting research data analysis in an orbiting laboratory," said Bhatia.

Even for space missions lasting just 17 days, the length of the Ax-1 mission, this research activity can produce terabytes-one terabyte is equal to 1,000 GB-of data each day.

Originally designed for rugged, mobile disconnected environments, AWS Snowcone SSD was not conceived for space mission use.

The C-band radar for the Copernicus Sentinel-1C satellite, is now on its way to "Meet" its spacecraft at Thales Alenia Space facilities in Rome, Italy, where it will undergo integration and testing.