Amazon Web Services (AWS) Snowcone SSD Communicated Successfully in Space During Axiom Space Ax-1 Mission – SatNews
Aerospace organizations around the world, including Axiom space, are developing new ideas for how humans will explore, research and do business in LEO when the International Space Station (ISS) is retired at the end of this decade. Regardless of what future commercial space stations will look like, one thing is certain: humanity’s desire for scientific research and technological discovery in orbit will continue.
Bandwidth is limited in orbit due to limited infrastructure: traditional computing resources are tied to the conditions of human spaceflight, while data transport lanes handle the competing demands of science operations and tasks. This means that astronauts must send the data and images they collect to facilities on Earth for processing. While this is only a minor issue in orbit above Earth, future exploration missions to Mars will experience much longer delays due to the huge volumes of information that will need to travel to Mars. Earth and return to a spaceship.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently collaborated with Axiom space on a more efficient way to analyze the data of their Mission Axiom 1 (Ax-1)the first fully private mission to the ISS, using an AWS Snowcone SSD.
At Amazon re:MARS 2022 this week, AWS announced that the Axiom Space-AWS Team managed to communicate remotely with the snow cone on the ISS and demonstrated the reproducible ability to perform edge processing on spatial datasets. This demonstration marks the first time that AWS has remotely operated a general-purpose edge processing and storage device on the ISS.
Ax-1 is one of many private space missions Axiom Space has planned for the ISS as it builds the world’s first commercial space station.
Scientific research was an integral part of the Ax-1 mission, with private Axiom astronauts devoting up to 14 hours a day to more than 25 research and technology demonstrations, including the AWS snow cone. These microgravity experiments, such as modeling tumor organoids for cancer research, produce large volumes of images and data that the crew must catalog and analyze, and all photographs from onboard experiments must be filtered. to obtain sensitive information. Even for space missions lasting only 17 days, the duration of the Ax-1 mission, this research activity can produce terabytes – one terabyte equals 1,000 GB – of data every day.
Originally designed for rugged and mobile disconnected environments, the AWS Snowcone SSD was not designed for use in space missions. The device offers edge processing capabilities with multiple layers of encryption, in an ultra-portable and easy-to-use form. In just seven months, AWS worked with Axiom and NASA to prepare for the safe delivery of the Snowcone to the ISS. This involved putting the device through NASA’s rigorous safety review process, including detailed thermal analysis and a series of lab tests that simulated the random vibrations of a rocket during launch or the spacecraft during launch. flight.
“AWS is committed to eliminating traditional barriers encountered in a space environment, including latency and bandwidth limitations,” said Clint Crosier, director of aerospace and satellites at AWS. “Performing image analysis close to the source of the data, in orbit, is a huge benefit as it can improve response times and allow the crew to focus on other critical tasks. This demonstration will help our teams assess how we can make edge processing available to crews for future space missions..”
“Axiom Space’s Ax-1 mission was a landmark mission to expand business opportunities in space and open the doors to more science and technology demonstrations that could improve life in orbit, as we’ve seen with Axiom and AWS Snowcone,” said Tejpaul Bhatia, Chief Revenue Officer of Axiom Space. “We are excited to leverage the capabilities of AWS and are investigating future applications to help catalog various forms of data on a space station, from managing inventory to accelerating analysis of research data in a space station. orbiting laboratory.”
“We strive to push previously set boundaries and deliver cloud computing capabilities when and where they are needed most,” said wayne duso, Vice President, AWS Storage, Edge, and Data Governance Services. “AWS Snow Family devices are designed to deploy and operate AWS-built applications in environments where there is no connectivity. For this mission, the AWS Snowcone SSD, the smallest and lightest in the Snow family, was ideal because it weighs less than five pounds and is smaller than a standard-sized tissue box. The device has proven to be durable enough to provide AWS computing, storage and networking capabilities onboard the ISS, fully disconnected from all ground facilities.”
Axiom Space is driven by the vision of a thriving home in space that benefits every human being, everywhere. The leading provider of human spaceflight services and developer of human-classified space infrastructure, Axiom today operates end-to-end missions to the International Space Station while privately developing its successor – a permanent commercial destination in orbit. earth that will support human growth off the planet and bring untold benefits back home.