Cloud Providers Eye APAC Space Industry
Major cloud providers have set their sights on the Asia-Pacific space sector, as more and more organizations in the region seek to harness the power of cloud computing in a variety of space technology applications.
In India, for example, a cloud-based decision-making platform is used to collect information from space satellites to predict disasters, while in Australia farmers use Earth observation and sensor data to save water.
Like their counterparts in other industries, organizations working with space-related technologies see the same benefits of the cloud: elasticity, scalability, and access to cutting-edge capabilities such as artificial intelligence.
According to Morgan Stanley, the global space industry is expected to reach around $1 billion by 2040. In Asia-Pacific, the industry is led by major space powers India, China and Japan, while upstarts such as South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Zealand and Singapore are also looking to develop their space capabilities.
In 2020, Amazon Web Services (AWS) created a dedicated business to support the space industry, including in the Asia-Pacific region, to meet customer demand for applying cloud computing best practices and services to the space sector. .
Mani Thiru, head of aerospace and satellites at AWS Asia Pacific and Japan, was hired to lead space business in the region after two years with the company, around the same time the Australia has created a national space agency.
“We decided to create a team that would actually allow us to dig a little deeper into space and satellite solutions,” Thiru told Computer Weekly. “And what we’ve found is that it’s an increasingly competitive and dynamic industry.”
AWS currently operates an extensive space technology program that spans a range of activities, from providing promotional credits and training to hackathons and business coaching.
“A space business, like any other business, requires a business model,” Thiru said. “It has to satisfy a customer and there has to be a market for the products we build. We support customers throughout this process of creating and validating a product, then we can evolve into different markets. »
In Singapore, AWS has partnered with the Office for Space Technology and Industry (OSTIn) to foster the development of space technologies in the city-state through workforce development and other efforts.
OSTIn and AWS will also work with spatial data professionals and research institutions to identify space-related datasets to enable open data access, collaboration, and analysis through the Data Sponsorship Program. AWS Open Sources, which will cover the cost of storing publicly available data. valuable data sets.
In Australia, Microsoft is making progress in the country’s nascent space industry. In September 2021, it partnered with Nokia to expand South Australia’s space capabilities. Its Azure Space team will also join Lot Fourteen, an Adelaide neighborhood focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, research, education, culture and tourism.
“Microsoft believes that some of our biggest challenges can be solved with the support of space-based technologies and ubiquitous connectivity,” said Lynn McDonald, former US Air Force Colonel and head of Microsoft Azure Space Australia.
“This important collaboration with Nokia will enable Australian organizations to take a giant leap into a new era of computing, data and communications capabilities, catapulting them to the forefront of digital innovation,” he said. she adds.
Software and cloud skills
The development of space technology requires hardware engineering capabilities, but software and cloud skills have become increasingly important when it comes to dealing with swathes of data collected by space missions, qu whether it’s going to deep space in search of celestial bodies or looking down at Earth to monitor weather patterns.
Meanwhile, AWS is making hardware capabilities more accessible to the space industry. Instead of shelling out more than $500,000 to build a satellite ground station, Thiru said developers can access an AWS ground station on a pay-per-minute basis.
“A developer or someone building a new space product can hook up to a satellite, download information, and then do something with that information,” she said. “It’s a very exciting world.”