Aalyria, a newly formed communications network company backed by Silicon Valley investors including the founders of Accel, J2 Ventures, and Housatonic, is launching plans to orchestrate and manage ‘hyper-fast, ultra-secure, and highly complex’ communications networks that span land, air, sea and space. Aalyria could be a new player in the inflight connectivity marketplace, and it claims its technology can offer connectivity 100-1,000 times faster than any network available today.
According to Aalyria, its advanced networking and laser communications technologies will be capable of establishing and managing the most complex networks in the world, extending them into places where there is currently no connectivity infrastructure – and all “at an exponentially greater scale and speed than anything that exists today”. The company is commercialising its technologies with both private sector and government partners, and has already secured an initial US$8m contract with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to help develop secure internet connectivity throughout the space domain for private and public sector customers.
Aalyria’s technologies were originally developed at Alphabet as part of its wireless connectivity efforts. One element is Spacetime, an intelligent network orchestration technology, while Tightbeam is its advanced atmospheric laser communications technology. Together they enable complex networks: today up to 15 million possible links and wireless connection speeds up to 1.6Tbps, with plans to facilitate the coordination and sharing of network resources across multiple networks with unlimited connections.
“These technologies set the new standard for intelligently orchestrating, managing and extending mesh networks across all domains – land, sea, air, and space – to create connectivity everywhere, no matter the protocol,” said Chris Taylor, founder and CEO of Aalyria.
“The connectivity on your plane, train, car, cruise ship, space station, lunar base camp or Mars rover – and anywhere else in the solar system – ought to be as good as it is in your home. We are able to orchestrate cross-constellation inter-satellite links that enable the internetworking of government and commercial constellation providers,” added Taylor. “We can orchestrate high-speed urban meshes and global unified network operations, and we can help connect the next three billion people. We can do this today – and at scale. Aalyria is the digital cartilage and autonomous brain that allows everything to internetwork.”
How the technology works
The Spacetime software platform has been set up to orchestrate and manage networks of aircraft, ground stations, satellites, ships, urban meshes, and more. It optimises and evolves the antenna link scheduling, network traffic routing, and spectrum resources, responding in real time to changing network requirements. Aalyria says that Spacetime operates networks across land, sea, air, and space, at any altitude or orbit type, supports all radio frequency bands and optical wavelengths, and is designed for interoperability with legacy, hybrid space, 5G NTN and FutureG network architectures.
Spacetime is asset and domain agnostic, meaning it can orchestrate networks across nearly anything that is connectivity-equipped on Earth or in space, whether aircraft, ships, satellites or space assets in near or deep space. Spacetime already has millions of flight hours orchestrating and managing airborne communications systems around the world. According to Aalyria, as the number of networks adopting Spacetime continues to grow, it will provide those network operators with flexibility to craft agreements with each other that share spectrum or network resources across space and time.
Tightbeam is a light-free space optics technology claimed to be 100-1,000 times faster than anything else available today and covering great distances. The system’s coherent light laser moves data intact through the atmosphere and weather, and offers connectivity where no supporting infrastructure exists. Tightbeam is designed to improve satellite communications, inflight wi-fi on planes, marine connectivity, and cellular connectivity.
“Aalyria offers a cutting-edge Software Defined Network capability and optical network technology that is designed to deal with dynamic links, like space to ground, air to air, air to space and every combination between,” said Milo Medin, company advisor to Aalyria and former Google VP of wireless services. “The future of communications marries ground-based fibre with space, wireless and optical links to enable the creation of a survivable on-demand network infrastructure, anytime and anywhere, at speeds that remove the network as a bottleneck. This is critical not just for the future of the Joint Force, but for extending the capabilities of the cloud to anywhere on the planet and beyond where the modern enterprise is delivering value.”
Former US Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work is convinced, stating, “Aalyria’s vision and technical approach enables, for the first time, the complete communications and network solution for integrated deterrence. There is nothing else like it.”
Aalyria is currently working with commercial space companies and governments to make their networks more resilient, and make the company’s spectrum more profitable.
Key figures at Aalyria:
Aalyria’s team includes technical experts with experience at Google, Amazon, Meta, NASA, Cisco, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lockheed Martin, and more.
The leadership team
• Chris Taylor, CEO, is a four-time CEO and entrepreneur who most recently was the CEO of decision science company, Govini. Taylor, from South Buffalo, NY also spent 14 years in the US Marine Corps as an enlisted infantryman and Force Recon Marine.
• Nathan Wolfe, EVP, CTO and founder of Aalyria, spent the previous six years at Google as a technical director and product area manager, focused on innovative hardware efforts, including what would become Tightbeam, key to “connecting the next three billion people.” Wolfe started his professional career in the US Air Force where he was an air traffic controller.
• Dr Brian Barritt, EVP and CTO spent six years leading the team at Alphabet that developed Spacetime. For the last two years, he has supported open-source cellular, decentralised wireless and non-terrestrial connectivity efforts at Meta. Barritt has also developed space communications systems for NASA.
• Dan Gaudreau, CFO has spent 30 years as a finance leader in software and hardware startups and global enterprises. He has led IPOs and ensured balanced controls in companies to make them as nimble and fiscally responsible.
The board of advisors
• Dr Vint Cerf is known as one of the fathers of the Internet. He is currently a vice president at Google Cloud, and is working with NASA to establish the Interplanetary Internet.
• Hon. Robert O. Work is the former US deputy secretary of defense and former vice-chairman of the congressionally established National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.
• Maj. Gen. Kim Crider (Ret.) is former chief innovation & technology officer at US Space Force, and the former chief data officer of the US Air Force.
• Milo Medin is an engineer at Schmidt Futures, former VP of wireless services at Google, and a former member of the Defense Innovation Board.
• Dave Rensin is a senior director for engineering at Google and a best-selling technology author. He was formerly the SVP of engineering at Pendo.io, and former head of global network capacity planning at Google.
• Michael Cheng is a former network engineer, M&A lawyer, and led open-source product management at Meta (formerly Facebook). He also serves on the Linux Foundation’s board of directors.
• Eric Gillespie is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Govini.
• Josh Marcuse is the head of business development at Google Public Sector and former executive director of the Defense Innovation Board.
• Sharath Ananth is a systems engineer at Google.
• Kent Eisenhuth is a product design lead at Google. He is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and author of Drawing Product Ideas.
• Dr Donald A. Cox III is a global technologist and optical communications expert.