September 14, 2022
Maj. Gen. Clint Crosier (Ret.)
Director, Aerospace and Satellite, Amazon Web Services
Christopher D. Roberti
Senior Vice President for Cyber, Space, and National Security Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Cloud computing changed the way we access and utilize web-based resources. As the technology continues to develop and be applied on the Earth’s surface, the federal government and private sector look for new avenues to bolster connectivity in space through cloud computing.
Retired Major General Clint Crosier, the director of Amazon Web Services' Aerospace and Satellite, has extensive satellite experience, from operating GPS, Satcom, and missile warnings, to satellite communication, constellations, and launching Atlas and Titan missiles. He was even the lead planner and architect of the U.S. Space Force.
In a fireside chat during the 2022 Global Aerospace Summit, Crosier discussed the future of connectivity in space, the opportunities created by the advancement of satellite-based cloud computing, and how the public and private sectors can work together to continue innovating in this area.
AWS Prioritizes Security in Global Connectivity
According to Crosier, the cloud has unique and extraordinary value and capabilities, from artificial intelligence to machine learning to advanced data analytics. For AWS, one of the biggest priorities for its cloud-based services is security.
“One of the things I really love is that AWS treats security as priority zero every day,” Crosier said. “AWS has built that security into everything we do. We have a secret enclave within the AWS cloud, and we operate all the way up to the highest security levels for defense and intelligence organizations around the globe.”
Public-Private Collaboration Is Essential to Delivering Cyber- and Space-Based Services
The relationship between the government and the private sector is a vital component of space exploration and discovery.
“There's no cyber without space, and there's no space without cyber,” Crosier said. “When you think about global partnerships … AWS supports some of the largest government public sectors, from transportation to finance, military, and other types of organizations.”
Crosier also mentioned how AWS is creating partnerships with government organizations in Singapore, Brazil, and other countries that recognize the space industry is growing so rapidly. He noted that the AWS space team has partnered and signed an official memorandum of understanding to help train and educate their workforces on cloud-based capabilities, how to open space startups, and how to create space economies within their governments and economies.
AWS Is Partnering with Innovators to Support Space Sustainability
As sustainability remains a global priority, AWS places high importance on safe and healthy practices with initiatives like its global climate pledge. To facilitate traffic management and debris mitigation within the topic of sustainability in space, AWS and cloud computing create fast-response solutions.
A company that AWS supports, Leo Labs, built a global ground station of radars that are being used to monitor objects in space. When examining every object against others in space to predict where there are potential space traffic management or collision issues, it took Leo Labs about eight hours.
“Leo Labs moved all that capability to the AWS cloud, and today, instead of running that in eight hours, they can run [their calculations] in about 10 seconds,” Crosier said. “Now, within the period of a three-minute phone call, when the company says, ‘Should I move up, down, left, or right?’ they’ll run all four of those courses of action [and be able to tell which] one limits the probability of a collision. That's a game-changing capability in space sustainability.”
From the Series