Air Force Taps Microsoft, Ball Aerospace to Demo Satellite-to-Cloud Data Processing Tech

Jeff Brody

Ball Aerospace has partnered with Microsoft to demonstrate a data processing prototype for the U.S. Air Force that will rapidly transmit information from low-Earth orbit satellites to data centers through array and cloud technologies.

The Commercially Augmented Space Inter Networked Operations project will have teams downlink data from disparate constellations through Ball Aerospace’s phased array antenna and transmit such information directly into a Microsoft Azure environment, Ball Aerospace said Tuesday.

Tom Keane, corporate vice president for Azure Global at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post that the two firms will install the antenna onto a Microsoft data center and obtain a large amount of LEO satellite information to enable direct satellite-to-cloud data processing and “intelligent edge” computing.

Steve Smith, vice president and general manager of systems engineering solutions at Ball Aerospace, said the CASINO effort will showcase the company’s imagery exploitation algorithms and array technologies which may be used to support similar future efforts.

CASINO is facilitated by the Defense Innovation Unit in support of the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center.

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