Aalyria, a startup launched by Google, will use lasers to deliver broadband internet anywhere in the world

In theory, the technology Aalyria is developing could facilitate high-speed connections over much greater distances, to Martian robots or exploration probes sent to distant planets in the solar system.

But for terrestrial communications, Aalyria satellites will be able to deliver broadband internet to remote locations and to moving “keeps” such as passenger planes at speeds of up to 1.6TB/sec.

“We can support high-speed urban networks and global unified network operations and help connect the next three billion people,” said Chris Taylor, CEO of Aalyria. “We can do that today – and at scale.”

The two technologies Aalyria offers are Spacetime and Tightbeam. Spacetime is a software platform that manages networks of ground stations, aircraft, satellites, city networks and other systems to optimize antenna links on land, at sea and in the air. Tightbeam is an “advanced coherent free-space optics technology” that uses lasers to transmit data through the atmosphere and in various weather conditions at “100-1,000 times the speed of currently available technologies”.

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According to the company, the project is already in an advanced stage of preparation, with six to nine months remaining before the system becomes operational. What is certain is that Aalyria enjoys direct support from the US government, with the company winning an $8 million contract, adding to the initial funding provided by Google.

The new space telecommunications company benefits from years of research and development, with its services emerging as an extension of the Starlink network, and will provide high-speed internet anywhere in the world. Unlike Starlink, Aalyria’s services are targeted more towards business customers (e.g. airlines) and customers within the US government or partner countries (e.g. NASA, ESA, military operations). As these are very narrow laser beam connections, the communications achieved are not only fast but also very well protected against direct interception. At the same time, laser links are completely immune to conventional jamming equipment and are particularly useful in the battlefield.

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