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AWS Snowcone successfully completes data transfer from ISS

AWS Snowcone SSD onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Credit: NASA.
AWS Snowcone SSD onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Credit: NASA.

London, 30 August 2023.- The Japan Manned Space System Corporation (JAMSS) used an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Snowcone SSD onboard the International Space Station (ISS) to transmit large volumes of data from space into AWS. 

The AWS Snowcone arrived on the ISS in July 2022 as part of the first Axiom Space Mission (Ax-1) available to power on-orbit data processing experiments for researchers, students, and scientific organisations. 

JAMSS developed the JAMSS Automated File Dump System (JAFDS) solution that leverages the edge computing capabilities of the Snowcone to autonomously downlink, validate, and retransmit large files from the ISS to the ground. On the 21st of April 2022, JAMSS, in collaboration with AWS and Axiom Space, demonstrated software that will help scientists transmit large amounts of data from space and help scientists on Earth analyse the information quicker. 

In the orbital demonstration the JAFDS software was deployed and executed on an Amazon EC2 instance in the AWS Snowcone. JAMSS conducted a test where 1 gigabyte (GB) files were created for three different users and transmitted sequentially to ground. The technical demonstration successfully reproduced all the files to a virtual machine on the ground and demonstrated autonomous downlink operation by detecting file losses and retrieving and retransmitting the previously lost data. 

JAFDS automatically compresses, encrypts, transmits, and re-creates the files from the on-orbit Amazon Elastic Block Store volume to the ground location while maintaining directory structure and file names. This allows access to files and experimental data as if they were on the ISS, and allows on-ground researchers and users to continue analysis activities and distribute data seamlessly. 

JAMSS plans to further develop and demonstrate edge processing solutions on AWS for space applications to accelerate further innovation in the space data ecosystem.

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