Google wants to use space lasers for high-speed internet in planes and Mars rovers



Using lasers to beam the internet over long distances and deliver speeds of up to 1.6 terabits per second. This is the promise of Aalyria, a startup from Alphabet, the parent company of Google.

The subsidiary claims that its technology can provide Internet access to remote regions of the world, but also in space to connect rovers on Mars or a base on the Moon. ”
We can orchestrate high-speed urban networks and global unified network operations, and we can help connect the next three billion people
says Chris Taylor, CEO of Aalyria. ” We can do it now, and at scale “.

An $8 million contract to deploy within nine months

The two technologies on which Aalyria relies are Spacetime and Tightbeam. The first is a software platform that manages networks of ground stations, aircraft, satellites, city grids and other systems to optimize antenna links on land, at sea and in the air. Tightbeam is a “ advanced spatial optics technology without coherent light “which uses lasers to pass data through the atmosphere and weather patterns”
100 to 1000 times faster than anything available today.
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According to Aalyria, the project will be deployed within six to nine months. The company has landed an $8 million contract with the Defense Innovation Unit that aims to develop secure internet in space for the public and private sectors. ”
Aalyria’s vision and technical approach enables, for the first time, a complete communication and network solution for integrated deterrence
said Bob Work, former deputy secretary of defense. ” There’s nothing like it “.

Aalyria is entering this space internet market as Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite internet company, is making great strides in deploying its network.

A technology from the Loon project

Starlink, Aalyria and other signal-based Internet companies aim to connect users where physical infrastructure is either impossible or prohibitively expensive. Rather than leaving people in remote areas dependent on older satellite systems that are often slow and less responsive, advances in low Earth orbit satellites or laser technology are bringing high-speed internet to more places. . For example, Starlink was able to bring high-speed internet to Native American tribes that previously only had speeds of 0.3 to 0.7 Mbps. The US government also views high-speed internet as critical infrastructure and plans to spend $401 million to improve access in rural US areas.

For the record, Aalyria was born from the ashes of Loon, the stratospheric balloon project to transmit the Internet on which Alphabet worked for several years before abandoning it for lack of financial viability.


CNET.com article adapted by CNETFrance

Image: byakkaya/Getty Images

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