Faint orbital debris that threatens satellites not being monitored closely enough, warn astronomers

Faint orbital debris that threatens satellites not being monitored closely enough, warn astronomers
Examples of light curves extracted from the survey images for faint debris tracks. Owing to the strategies employed by the astronomers, stars appear as near-vertical streaks in the image thumbnails, while the objects of interest manifest as short trails. A significant degree of brightness variation can be seen for both examples. Credit: Blake et al., ASR, 2020

University of Warwick astronomers are warning that orbital debris posing a threat to operational satellites is not being monitored closely enough, as they publish a new survey finding that over 75% of the orbital debris they detected could not be matched to known objects in public satellite catalogs.


The astronomers are calling for more regular deep surveys of orbital debris at high altitudes to help characterize the resident objects and better determine the risks posed to the active satellites that we rely on for essential services, including communications, weather monitoring and navigation.

The

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Microsoft unveils Azure Orbital connecting satellites to its cloud

SAN FRANCISCO – Microsoft unveiled Azure Orbital Sept. 22, a service to help customers move data from satellites directly into the Azure cloud for processing and storage.

“With Azure Orbital, we’re taking our infrastructure to space, enabling anyone to access satellite data and capabilities from Azure,” CEO Satya Nadella said during the Microsoft Ignite 2020 conference.

The announcement marked the latest chapter in the competition between Microsoft and Amazon to connect satellite communications networks with cloud infrastructure.

In June, Amazon Web Services announced the formation of a dedicated business unit, Aerospace and Satellite Solutions, to offer cloud services to support space and launch operations.

Microsoft, meanwhile, is expanding its network of partners supporting Azure Orbital to include KSAT’s network of more than 200 satellite antennas. Intelsat, SES, Inmarsat and Viasat were already working with Microsoft to send customer data to Microsoft’s Azure network of fiber-linked data centers.

“Microsoft is taking

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Microsoft Azure Orbital satellite service to compete with Amazon AWS

An AWS Ground Station satellite antenna at one of the company’s data center in Boardman, Oregon.

Amazon

Microsoft will offer a new service called Azure Orbital that connects satellites directly to its cloud computing network, the company announced at its Ignite conference Tuesday.

The service will begin in a “private preview” to a select group of Microsoft customers. Earlier this month CNBC reported on Microsoft’s plans to challenge the Ground Station service that’s available from Amazon Web Services. Amazon and Microsoft are the two largest providers of cloud infrastructure, with data centers in far-flung places that can host websites and run applications using a variety of computing and storage services.

“With access to low-latency global fiber networks and the global scale of Microsoft’s cloud services, customers can innovate quickly with large satellite datasets,” Yves Pitsch, a principal product manager at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post. “The cloud is central

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Microsoft connects satellites to its cloud in new service, Azure Orbital

Sept. 22 (UPI) — Microsoft on Tuesday launched Azure Orbital, a new service that connects satellites to its cloud to process data from space.

Data satellite operators retrieve from space to observe Earth is key in addressing global challenges like climate change and furthering scientific innovation, Azure Networking Principal Program Manager Yves Pitsch said in a blog post Tuesday.

The new ground station service, Azure Orbital, connects satellite operators directly to the Azure cloud computing network to communicate with their satellites and process and store data from them.

Microsoft announced at its virtual Ignite conference Tuesday that Azure Orbital will begin in a “private preview” to select Microsoft customers.

“With Azure Orbital, we’re taking our infrastructure to space, enabling anyone to access satellite data and capabilities from Azure,” Microsoft CEO Satyr Nadella said during the Microsoft Ignite 2020 conference.

Amazon captured 45% of the cloud-computing market in 2019, when Microsoft

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