The PSC case-studies: entry

Case Study: Migrating UKSA’s Monitor your Satellites service to Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Moving off the legacy GOV.UK PaaS platform to cloud-native AWS with a 20% cost saving

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What was the challenge?
The UK Space Agency (with support from The PSC Digital) runs the Monitor your satellites service - tracking UK registered satellites and providing alerts to satellite operators for likely collisions.

When it was announced that the GOV.UK Platform as a Service (PaaS) would be decommissioned in July 2022, UK Space Agency approached The PSC Digital to ensure a successful migration to a new cloud provider.

Case Study: Migrating UKSA’s Monitor your Satellites service to Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Product Manager Mark and Business Analyst Izzy discuss the migration plan

What did The PSC Digital do?

We first evaluated a range of options for migration, including new PaaS offerings within government. As GOV.UK PaaS is based on top of AWS we opted for a migration to an AWS-based architecture to ensure the smoothest possible transition and to align to wider departmental technical strategy.

We worked as one with UK Space Agency to design a technical architecture based on Elastic Container Service (ECS) compute power and making the best of AWS by migrating other support services such as logging (now using CloudWatch) and transitioning from long-running worker threads to cron-like functionality provided by ECS.


We implemented this using an infrastructure as code approach in Terraform and connecting the deployment pipeline to existing GitHub based processes.


What did UK Space Agency achieve? 

  • The service was able to move away from GOV.UK PaaS before the platform was decommissioned. 
  • Predicted savings on hosting compared to existing implementation of ~20%
  • Deployments are now possible with zero downtime
  • Increased service reliability provided through new ECS functionality not available on GOV.UK PaaS


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