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Cal Poly collaboration with Amazon Web Services to provide vital public services

Posted at 6:23 PM, Jun 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-22 17:38:39-04
<figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-178867">NASA/Creative Commons

Cal Poly is playing a major role in a new collaborative initiative involving big data with Amazon Web Services.

The Satellite Data Solutions (SDS) Initiative could provide vital public services, such as assessing the damage in a disaster zone following an earthquake or tornado.

“Imagine looking at an area affected by a tsunami, tasking several satellites to collect and transmit imagery to the cloud and analyze the data in near-real time to determine areas hardest hit, and then sending emergency responders to the areas in most need first,” said Bill Britton, Cal Poly’s vice president for information technology services and chief information officer.

Cal Poly students, faculty and staff involved in the initiative are tasked with harnessing data from satellites orbiting earth’s lower atmosphere.

The effort gives students an opportunity to develop key workforce skills such as applying data science and machine learning to real world problems in rapidly growing STEAM or science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics fields for current and incoming students.

“The collaboration Cal Poly envisions through the SDS Initiative will enrich educational benefits to our students, faculty, and educational partners and operational benefits to the commercial satellite industry, including start-ups,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong.

Cal Poly students and faculty were involved in the CubeSat Standard in 1999 and has since contributed through standards, development, education and demonstrations by hosting the annual CubeSat Developer’s Workshop.