Software giant Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has successfully demonstrated the effectiveness of its new space cloud service. The growth of this direction opens up new opportunities for the expansion of the Microsoft ecosystem. Microsoft introduced a new Azure Space service at the end of 2021.
It involves using Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure to process Earth remote sensing (ERS) data. At the same time, Microsoft and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) signed an agreement on joint research and development. Another partner in this work was Kubos, which in April 2022 became the property of Xplore. Last year, Microsoft started working with NOAA to demonstrate the capabilities of Azure when working with polar weather satellites.
In particular, the images from the NOAA-18 satellite using Major Tom Xplore management software launched in Microsoft’s new cloud, Azure Orbital. Because of this, it became possible to control the movement of data in a way close to real-time. At the same time, they met the requirements for protecting data, and the costs were less than when putting traditional infrastructure in place.
In the coming decades, the number of satellites in near-Earth space will grow several times, and now Microsoft can offer its services for this fast-growing direction. In particular, NOAA plans to expand the orbital grouping of weather satellites. Commercial organizations are also increasing satellite groupings, and soon they will need new solutions for easier management of space assets.