“Thanks to the power of open source, the compute capability provided by the HPE Spaceborne Computer-2, and the scalability of Azure, we are empowering developers to build for space at a speed that’s out of this world.”—Kevin Mack, Senior Software Engineer, Microsoft
This morning Microsoft News published a story about the use of Azure, enabled by HPE’s Spaceborne Computer-2 on the International Space Station (ISS). The project was designed to overcome the limited bandwidth between ISS and Earth by validating the benefits of a computational workflow that spans and edge and cloud. Under this workflow, examination of high-volume raw data is processed and performed on the ISS using the HPE Spaceborne Computer-2’s edge computing platform and a much smaller data set containing only “interesting bits” is sent to Earth, where cloud resources are used to perform compute-intensive analysis to determine what those interesting bits really mean.
The International Space Station (ISS), a microgravity and space environment research laboratory, has just observed 20 years of continuous human presence. New technology is delivered to it regularly, as needed to keep up with the research being performed. Computers used on the ISS have typically been custom-built with specialized hardware and programming models, needed to deliver the reliability needed in space. Unfortunately, the developer experience for targeting these custom spaceborne systems is complex, making programming slow and challenging compared to the commercial-off-the-shelf systems used by most developers today.