Microsoft is adding satellite ground stations to Azure datacenters. This image shows the ground station installation at the company's Quincy, Washington datacenter. Credit: Microsoft

SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft announced plans April 6 to move automated satellite image processing technology developed by Thales Alenia Space into its Azure Orbital platform.

With Thales Alenia’s DeeperVision software, “images downlinked by Earth observation satellites can be immediately and systematically analyzed as soon as they are produced,” according to a Thales Alenia news release.

Since Microsoft unveiled Azure Orbital last year to connect satellites to its cloud infrastructure, the software giant has been equipping datacenters with ground stations to help customers retrieve information from Earth observation, remote sensing and communications satellites.

“We continue to build ground stations in other locations and integrate with partner ground stations to further our customers’ ability to communicate with their satellites for data ingestion,” Tom Keane, Microsoft Azure Global corporate vice president, said in an April 6 blog.

Microsoft is working with various customers and partners including Thales Alenia to improve signal processing, data processing and geospatial data analytics.

“Customers can now combine all the functionality of Thales Alenia Space’s DeeperVision solution for processing dataflows and generating timely information with the cloud capabilities of Azure Orbital,” Clarence Duflocq, Thales Alenia vice president for strategy and innovation, said in a statement. “This information is enriched by high-speed, high-volume artificial intelligence and machine learning to create an unprecedented impact on and beyond the planet!”

Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture of majority partner Thales and minority partner Leonardo focused on telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructure.

Azure Orbital is a service to help customers move data from satellites directly into the Azure cloud for processing and storage.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...