Blog

11.16.2018

Unlocking the True Potential of GEOINT with AWS

By: Dr. Shay Har-Noy, VP, Unified Platform & Ken Joyce, Senior Product Manager for SecureWatch, Maxar Technologies


Read Time: 3 minutes

As the premier provider of Earth imaging services, Maxar has earned the responsibility of serving dozens of friendly foreign governments around the world with commercial geospatial intelligence (GEOINT). For many of these governments, satellite imagery from Maxar forms the backbone of their defense and intelligence agencies’ capabilities to monitor and respond to national security situations.

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Maxar's WorldView-3 imaged military activity near Tsugol, Russia on September 13, 2018, and delivered it to end-users within hours of collection through the AWS-powered SecureWatch platform. This aircraft was flying at the time the image was taken, which creates the effect above where it appears there are two planes.[/caption]

To enable leaders to make confident decisions, these agencies must have access to information that is accurate and timely. Maxar owns and operates a constellation of five Earth imaging satellites, a dense network of global ground stations, and state-of-art processing facilities. With these assets, Maxar is able to collect, downlink, backhaul, and process imagery with greater resolution, speed, and accuracy than any other commercial provider. That in itself is a significant achievement for the company. But we have not stopped there… because imagery, no matter the quality, has no value until it is in the hands of those who need it.

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Maxar’s WorldView-3 imaged tsunami damage in Palu, Indonesia on October 2, 2018, which end-users accessed within hours of collection through the AWS-powered SecureWatch platform.[/caption]

Delivering secure, worldwide access to a 100-petabyte (100,000,000 gigabytes) imagery library that grows with over 80 terabytes (80,000 gigabytes) of new collections every day is a challenge that few companies have. To meet this challenge, Maxar recently transitioned our hosting of SecureWatch, the platform that delivers browsing and downloading access to all of this imagery via a secure web application and API’s, to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Maxar and AWS product and engineering teams worked in close collaboration during the transition to realize the following benefits:

  1. Enabling significant performance improvements for imagery browsing and downloads through epicly scalable storage (Amazon S3), elastic compute resources (Amazon EC2), Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) and an assortment of other native AWS resources.
  2. Unlocking virtually unlimited storage for raw and processed imagery products
  3. Achieving shorter system maintenance windows and fewer unplanned outages
  4. Enabling GBDX to function as a native service for SecureWatch customers enabling streaming artificial intelligence and image processing functionality (more to come as we expose more of this in our UI!)

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AWS enables Maxar to give its global customer base access to the company’s 100PB imagery library and 80TB+ of new imagery on a daily basis.[/caption]

To learn more about SecureWatch and request 30 days of free access, visit here: https://www.digitalglobe.com/products/securewatch

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