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Real-time satellite imagery coming soon: intelligence images available in minutes

According to the US C4ISRNET website on the 4th, the new technology allows us to obtain real-time satellite image services in three years, both the military and the private sector will benefit from it.

The report said that Amazon.com released a new product called AWS Ground Station on November 28th. By deploying parabolic antennas at 12 locations around the world, satellite image data can be quickly downloaded and used when the satellite is over the top. High speed pushes this information to the network cloud service platform. At the same time, the head of Digital Earth, the satellite image company, also said that they can transfer image data from the ground station to the network cloud in less than a minute, and the traditional means to complete the task, at least an hour. According to the report, the combination of these technologies, together with the new generation of satellite imaging constellations that Digital Earth is expected to complete in 2021, will provide customers with real-time satellite images.

For the meaning of real-time satellite imagery, Jeff Karl, head of Digital Earth Technical Support, gave an example: When firefighters extinguish wildfires, they need the most intuitive and up-to-date information to save lives and homes. When rescuers track refugees in fragile rubber boats, they also need real-time information about where the rubber boat was before it sank. He said that the current demand for accurate and real-time satellite data is growing rapidly.

In addition to the civilian sector, the report said that this technology is equally significant for the military. Traditional ground stations currently download information from satellites on a strict schedule, meaning that users must wait at least a few hours for processed information. Digital Earth's new networking satellites will double the number of satellites to ground stations. In addition, an imaging satellite can revisit up to 15 times a day for the same target, which means that defense and intelligence agencies can get images a few minutes ago, rather than images a few hours ago.

The report mentioned that Digital Earth has cooperated with many US intelligence agencies and the Pentagon. Although the Pentagon is unlikely to rely directly on commercial satellite download links for security reasons, the military giant Lockheed Martin has Amazon has reached a cooperation agreement. The head of Lockheed Martin said that they expect the military to use the relevant ground base stations to conduct experiments for low-orbit satellites. In addition, the technology can also be an alternate ground station option for Pentagon satellites. (Yin Pei)

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