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New Azure Orbital, ground station as a service, now in preview

Published date: September 22, 2020

Azure Orbital is a fully managed cloud-based ground station as a service that enables you to communicate with your spacecrafts or satellite constellations, downlink and uplink data, process your data in the cloud, chain services with Azure services in unique scenarios, and generate products for your customers. Azure Orbital lets you focus on the mission and product data by off-loading the responsibility of deployment and maintenance of ground station assets. This system is built atop the Azure global infrastructure and low-latency global fiber network. There are two main scenarios for Orbital:

    • Azure Orbital for Earth Observation - You can use Azure Orbital to schedule contacts with satellites on a pay-as-you-go basis for house-keeping and payload downlinks. Use the scheduled access times to ingest data from the satellite, monitor the satellite health and status, or transmit commands to the satellite. Incoming data is delivered to your private virtual network allowing it to be processed or stored in Azure.
    • Azure Orbital for Global Communication - Satellite providers who provide global communication capabilities to their customers, can use Azure Orbital to either co-locate new ground stations in Azure data centers or edge of Azure network, or inter-connect their existing ground stations with global Azure backbone. They can then route their traffic on global Microsoft network, leverage internet breakout from the edge of Azure network for providing internet services and other managed services to their customers.

Azure Orbital service delivers the traffic from Orbital ground station to Provider s virtual network. Using these Azure Orbital services, a satellite provider can integrate or bundle other Azure services (such as Security services like Firewall, connectivity services like SDWAN, etc.) along with their satellite connectivity to provide managed services to their customers in addition to satellite connectivity.

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