PARIS: A US start-up is working on developing laser communications technology in the hope that, one day, it could be used to bring a secure broadband connection to the most remote places – on land, as well as at sea, in the air and even in space!
Aalyria is a subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent company of Google. Founded by former researchers from Google, Meta and NASA, this startup aims to develop a high-speed and secure communications network in the air and even in space, potentially right up to Mars.
For this, Aalyria hopes to rely on unprecedented networking and laser communication technologies to connect places where there is absolutely no dedicated infrastructure.
This concerns the oceans, as well as the sky, the mountains, and even space. Aalyria’s ambition is to provide connectivity – as effective as in the home – to users everywhere, whether in a car or on a train, a plane, a cruise ship, a space station, a lunar base camp or at the controls of a rover on Mars!
The technology that Aalyria is working on is a free-space optical communication system, which uses lasers to transmit data wirelessly without the signals ever being disrupted, regardless of the weather conditions.
Eventually, it should allow the implementation of complex networks of unhoped-for scale and speed, with connection speeds up to 1,000 times faster than what is known today.
With its software platform, the start-up intends to coordinate networks on land as well as at sea, in the air or in space.
In absolute terms, this intelligent platform could, for example, redirect the signal from one satellite to another depending on the desired reception quality.
This would be the case on board an aircraft, in relation to the change in its position.
In this respect, the initiative takes up work already undertaken by the former Loon project, which aimed to bring an internet connection to the most remote corners of the globe thanks to stratospheric balloons inflated with helium. A project ultimately abandoned in 2021.