Aalyria, the Google spinoff that emerged from stealth mode in September, made its big-stage debut at SATELLITE 2023 with a demonstration of its buzzy Spacetime software platform on Monday, March 13. Hours earlier, Aalyria announced its partnership with Rivada Space Networks, to support the buildout of its planned Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation of 600 satellites inter-connected via laser links.
The Spacetime platform is designed to orchestrate and manage networks of ground stations, aircraft, satellites, ships, and urban meshes by optimizing and continually evolving the antenna link scheduling, network traffic routing, and spectrum resources, according to the company.
Chris Taylor, Aalyria's founder and CEO kicked off the demonstration with a story about Sir Isaac Newton, drawing parallels between the scientist’s initial efforts to predict the trajectory of a cannonball and modern-day technology systems with predictive capabilities.
“It was basically the first time that we thought about artificial intelligence in space,” Taylor said. “As we move through time, we have all the great discoveries today that you have made such that my five-year-old daughter can lay in the grass, look up into the sky on a clear night and watch all of your products race across the midnight sky.”
Taylor also teased a future presentation devoted to its other flagship product, Tightbeam, before introducing his colleague Brian Barritt, co-founder & CTO of Aalyria.
Taking over the presentation, Barritt spent the bulk of his time on stage talking through a visual demonstration of Spacetime’s connectivity, describing diagrams of lines that stretched across a visual rendering of Earth, showing the reach and trajectory of satellite connectivity from the ground – land, sea, and air – to satellites in LEO, Medium-Earth Orbit (MEO), and lunar orbits.
Calling Spacetime “a new approach to software defined networking,” Barritt presented multiple images to illustrate the platform’s value as a flexible solution that grows smarter as it ages.
“The system can understand for every possible choice, precompute how much energy would be received by the thing we want to communicate with, but also how much interference that choice would impart upon ourselves or potential adversaries that want to detect retransmissions or potential victims of our interference,” he said.
Spacetime is also designed to respond to unexpected emergencies that cause internet outages, such as a cut fiber lines, and reroute traffic, in the event of a land, sea, or aerial emergency that disrupts connectivity.
“If a submarine fiber gets cut or terrestrial network connectivity goes down, that can be represented in Spacetime,” said Barritt. “It can understand it and adapt to it immediately … same with the links between the gateway and the satellite, the satellite and the aircraft, and the aircraft and the next one and the next one in the mesh connectivity.”
He also demonstrated how Spacetime would restore connectivity if a satellite were destroyed or impaired.
“As you watch the white lines here representing the intersatellite links, and you watch the green lines, which are the user beams, you will see them change as Spacetime recalculates all of the handovers of all the radio resource management and all of the routing, network wide,” he said. “And in the aerial domain, you can see the connectivity evolve to adapt links because of the loss of that satellite.”
Finally, he touched on the topic of 5G and how Aalyria and its partners are moving forward.
“There’s a lot of talk about these 5G systems,” he said, while acknowledging the progress made by satellite operators. “For these multi-hop, complex systems, that’s been a [challenge]. As a result, Aalyria is committing to aligning our solutions … we look forward to partnering with all of you in this room. We hope to solve your problems and the increasing complexities in your network.” VS