Aalyria, a new satellite internet company, has just come out of stealth mode. It is based on work done on the “moonshot” project of Alphabet Loon and Alphabet transfer Nearly a decade of Aalyria’s IP technology, patents, office space and other assets in exchange for a stake in the company. Spacetime is Aalyria’s smart grid coordination technology, and Tightbeam is the advanced atmospheric laser communication technology.
Space-time is a multi-layer, multi-orbit, software-defined network system developed for Project Loonone of Google’s early efforts at Connecting rural areas and developing countries. At one point, Telesat . agreed To use the Google Networks system To connect its low Earth orbit and geostationary satellites, Telesat has not yet launched its own low Earth orbit constellation.
With the demise of Project Loon, network management software has gone opaque, but development has continued, and Aalyria says it now “continually improves and develops antenna link scheduling, network traffic routing, and spectrum resources—responding in real time to changing network requirements.” That sounds like a tall order with Satellites, planes, ships and vehicles are constantly in motion, but the foundation was laid by drifting balloons.
This is an impressive claim, but not unique. Aharon Working On multi-orbit broadband networks and OneWeb recently signed an agreement For seamless interoperability between its LEO satellites, Intelsat geosynchronous satellites, and aircraft.
Tightbeam is a different story – visual links started to be used Between satellites in space, but as far as I know, no one currently transmits optical data between satellites and the Earth. Optical communication is superior to radio frequency links in space because they are faster, safer, and harder to jam than radio frequency, and the terminals have less mass and consume less power. What do you not like? Unfortunately, rain, clouds, dust or heat distort and weaken the light signals.
One could imagine building ground stations in places with dry climates and guiding about bad weather when it occurs, but Aalyria says they have developed new hardware and algorithms that correct these distortions and enable them to transmit data through the atmosphere at speeds of up to 1.6 terabytes each over hundreds of miles.
Capacity constraints recently slowed down Space Starlink, resulting in its launch Shift to Affordability-Based PricingAnd the Performance continues to decline since then. Oversubscribing to an area or local cell contributes to this decline, but as Mike Buchhol points out, Radiofrequency spectrum scarcity for traffic between satellites and ground gates It is also a limitation. Gateway congestion is already a problem, and Starlink and others are planning to launch more satellites. Puchol expects that we will have visual links between satellites and portals and expects that It may use infrared frequencies. The Chinese are It also works on optical communication They have done High-speed laser tests of the Earth-satellite.
Regardless of who does it first, we will eventually see visual connections between satellites and Earth. I haven’t seen any description of the Tightbeam technology or the results of the tests and demos, but if the Aalyria technology lives up to its description, it does matter.
Some miscellaneous points:
- I don’t know where the name is high comes from. I searched for it on Google and only got references to the company itself. (There were a lot of hits – the company is exciting).
- I wonder if they plan to run their own constellation or license the technology. I suspect that potential broadband licensees already have their own ‘Spacetime’ but don’t have their ‘Tightbeam’. At some point, Aalyria (or Amazon, Microsoft, or Google) will roll out optical ground stations.
- My guess is that Tightbeam was developed by Tara Alphabet Project who was working on eye contact for Loon and Other apps.
- I tried for two days to get more information about Tightbeam and its performance. Technical papers, experimental results, patents, etc. but emailed to Aalyria.com fall back.
- Finally, I note that the Board of Advisors has eleven members, four of whom have prior experience in the Department of Defense. This may have helped Aalyria secure an initial $8 million contract with the Defense Innovation Unit. Another member is Vint Cerf, co-designer of TCP/IP, Vice President of Google and, most relevant in this context, a longtime proponent of interplanetary networks. Only one employee is listed as an optical engineer, but board member Dr. Donald A. Cox III is a visual communications expert.