At Ignite 2020, Microsoft announced a new managed service to enable customers to quickly analyze data captured from space through physical satellite capabilities.

Azure Orbital is a new managed service by Microsoft that provides access to physical satellite communication capabilities to process and analyze data in Microsoft Azure with reduced costs and increased efficiency.

Azure Orbital is available now to select customers, in private preview, allowing them to take advantage of a low-latency global fiber network when working with large satellite datasets. Microsoft aims to further scientific advancement, exploration, and use of space data by extending the power of its global cloud to space.

Last year at Ignite, Microsoft announced a related service called ExpressRoute for Satellite that enabled enterprise customers to communicate from a remote site to Azure locations over private and dedicated connections. The Azure Orbital satellite service is a direct competitor to the AWS Ground Station service which was launched in 2018.