Introduction to AWS (Amazon Web Services) Ground Station

Dr John Hildebrandt1

1Amazon Web Services, Barton, Australia


AWS Ground Station is a fully managed service that lets you control satellite communications, downlink and process satellite data, and scale your satellite operations quickly, easily and cost-effectively without having to worry about building or managing your own ground station infrastructure. Ground stations are at the core of global satellite networks, which are facilities that provide communications between the ground and the satellites by using antennas to receive data and control systems to send radio signals to command and control the satellite. Today, you must either build your own ground stations and antennas, or obtain long-term leases with ground station providers, often in multiple countries to provide enough opportunities to contact the satellites as they orbit the globe. Once all this data is downloaded, you need servers, storage, and networking in close proximity to the antennas to process, store, and transport the data from the satellites.

AWS Ground Station eliminates these problems by delivering a global Ground Station as a Service. We provide direct access to AWS services and the AWS Global Infrastructure including our low-latency global fiber network right where your data is downloaded into our AWS Ground Station. This enables you to control satellite communications, ingest and process your satellite data, and integrate that data with your applications and services running in the AWS Cloud. For example, you can use Amazon S3 to store downloaded data, Amazon SageMaker for building custom machine learning applications, and Amazon EC2 to command and download data from satellites.


John has over 30 years’ experience in the Computer Science, Enterprise Information Technology and Research areas. His experience includes the areas of solutions architecture, technology strategy, application architecture, distributed systems, image databases, and image analysis.

John has extensive Public Sector, Defence and Intelligence experience over 30 years.John worked in the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) as a Senior Research Scientist leading teams undertaking cutting edge Image Analysis and Distributed Systems research.

Before joining AWS he had senior roles at Microsoft and IBM providing Architectural advice to Federal Government. John is currently employed as a Solutions Architect with Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Canberra. He was the first employee for the growing ANZ Public Sector team and has been active in growing the team.

John assists Public Sector customers envisage Cloud solutions. John has trained hundreds of customers the AWS platform and has presented at Australian and International Summits.


AeRO is the industry association focused on eResearch in Australasia. We play a critical coordination role for our members, who are actively transforming research via Information Technology. Organisations join AeRO to advance their own capabilities and services, to collaborate and to network with peers. AeRO believes researchers and the sector significantly benefit from greater communication, coordination and sharing among the increasingly different and evolving service providers.

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