Microsoft officials said today that Azure Orbital is now in public preview. Azure Orbital allows customers to communicate with and control satellites from Microsoft's own and its partners ground stations. Microsoft also is integrating more of its other services with Azure to serve users who are interested in Azure Space capabilities. Microsoft is touting SpaceEye, a Microsoft Research AI project focused on cloud-free optical and multispectral imagery, as helping users "see" through clouds, and is enhancing imagery with its Project Turing image-enhancement technology.
Via its new partnership with Airbus, Microsoft is bringing Airbus' high-resolution satellite imagery and elevation data into Azure Maps. By combining Airbus' imagery and Azure Machine learning and other artificial intelligence services, customers can better handle tasks like anticipating supply-chain disruptions by analyzing shipping routes, traffic patterns and global buying trends, Microsoft officials said.
Microsoft also is unveiling a new virtualization partnership with iDirect, which is a satellite provider, as well as additional goespatial and data analytics partnerships with ESRI, Blackshark and Orbital Insight as part of today's milestone updates.
Azure Space isn't just for companies in the space industry. It's meant to appeal to companies in public and private industry customers in the agriculture, energy, telecommunications, and government markets. It's also meant for any customer with remote-access and bandwidth needs.