After recently launching Azure Orbital, Microsoft has now revealed Azure Space, wherein the products will provide services such as space mission emulations, satellite networking capabilities, and analysis and interpretation of satellite data. Microsoft stated that it aims to make access to space connectivity and computing easily available for various industries, such as agriculture, energy, telecom, and government.
The Redmond-based giant has partnered with SpaceX Starlink to enhance the networking capabilities of Azure Space ecosystem. Even the newly launched Azure Modular Datacenter (MDC) will benefit from Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency satellite broadband. As per Microsoft it aims to provide “multi-orbit, multi-band, multi-vendor, cloud-enabled capability to bring comprehensive satellite connectivity solutions” via its Azure Space service.
The official blog post by Microsoft states, “resilient satellite communications, coupled with Azure’s ability to provide high performance computing, machine learning, and data analytics opens many new opportunities for both public- and private-sector organizations. Our partnership approach to satellite communication solutions helps us bring these capabilities to customers faster to help solve their mission-critical space needs.”
Along with Azure Space, the company also announced the launch of Azure Orbital Emulator, which aims to expedite space launches with mission assurance. The Orbital Emulator provides an emulation environment to conduct satellite constellation simulations with software and hardware in the loop.
The Azure Orbital Emulator hopes to help the space community or even government space programs by providing an environment where individual satellites or even constellation of satellites can be tested on various parameters even before the launch. Microsoft states that the Azure Orbital Emulator “allows satellite developers to evaluate and train AI algorithms and satellite networking before ever launching a single satellite. Azure can emulate an entire satellite network including complex, real-time scene generation using pre-collected satellite imagery for direct processing by virtualized and actual satellite hardware.” The company stated that the service is already being used by Azure Government customers.
Talking of the satellite connectivity services, Microsoft also announced that it will expand its partnership with satellite operator SES SA. The expanded partnership will witness Microsoft supporting the operator’s medium-earth orbit constellation to extend connectivity between Azure cloud datacenter regions and edge devices. The cloud giant announced that it has assembled a team of “renowned space industry veterans” that will work with Microsoft to deliver cloud solutions for space. Lastly, the launch of Azure Space comes close at the heels of AWS Aerospace and Satellite Solutions, which surely indicates that the major cloud players have set their eyes on space and the field for the next cloud battle is set!
Read More: AWS Looks Forward To Opportunities in Space