Amazon Web Services' ground station-as-a-service offering has launched a location in Ireland.

The ground station joins similar sites for satellite connectivity in Ohio, Oregon, Stockholm, Bahrain, and Sydney. In total, the company plans to have 12 sites around the world.

Amazon's plans for space domination

AWS Ground Station

Satellite customers pay for antenna access time on demand, which Amazon claims can save users up to 80 percent of their ground station costs, when compared to the traditional approach of leasing antennas at stations, or building entirely new ground stations.

AWS' ground stations are located near to the company's data centers, so data can be processed in Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances, and stored on the cloud service.

The ground stations are currently being delivered in partnership with defense contractor Lockheed Martin, but last year the division's head Shayn Hawthorne told DCD that it was not an exclusive partnership.

“We initially began collaborating with Lockheed Martin because we're very interested in many different types of antenna technologies,” Hawthorne said.

“We're very interested in meeting with a number of companies in order to come up with the most cost-effective, but maximum capability, antennas we can get, because right now we will have hundreds of antennas after installing them at our ground stations for the next ten years.”

Parabolic antennas at the moment require individual antennas to communicate with individual satellites. “If we can instead move into some antennas that allow you to use one antenna to communicate with multiple satellites at the same time, then it will really help us.”

The ground stations are likely to play an integral part in another Amazon effort: Project Kuiper. Led by Rajeev Badyal, previously VP of satellites at SpaceX, Kuiper aims to operate some 3,236 satellites that offer high-speed broadband connectivity to the earthlings below.