by Sophie Jenkins
London, UK (SPX) Dec 06, 2023
Aalyria, a frontrunner in cutting-edge software-defined and optical networking communications, has been awarded a pivotal development contract by the European Space Agency (ESA), with support from the UK Space Agency (UKSA). The project is set to pioneer a unique O-RAN compliant orchestration system, designed to integrate diverse connectivity assets across land, sea, air, and space, thereby enabling novel NTN connectivity features based on the upcoming 5G-Advanced and 6G standards. This collaboration underscores the strategic importance of the partnership and Aalyria's commitment to advancing 5G TN/NTN services. Aalyria has also established a European branch, headquartered in London, to reinforce this initiative.
The collaboration focuses on enabling interoperability within existing and future TN/NTNs, including satellites, HAPS, and other space-based assets. Traditionally, stitching together non-terrestrial assets has been challenging due to their constant motion relative to Earth and each other, and the use of bespoke orchestration systems not conducive to interoperability.
Aalyria's solution lies in its Spacetime platform - a sophisticated network orchestration system capable of managing mesh communication networks across all domains. Spacetime can automatically reroute connections in real time to maintain optimal connectivity throughout the network. The platform, already validated in production, was instrumental in orchestrating complex HAPS networks for Google's Project Loon in Kenya and Peru. In recent months, Aalyria has forged partnerships with industry giants like Telesat, Intelsat, and Rivada Space Networks for the Spacetime platform.
In collaboration with ESA, Aalyria will adapt Spacetime to develop a novel TN/NTN-capable Service Management and Orchestration platform. This platform will be made available to partners at ESA's ECSAT 5G/6G Hub in Harwell, United Kingdom. The partnership will focus on enhancing the O-RAN Alliance's standardized Radio Access Network management interfaces to support a range of future use cases, including at-sea connectivity, seamless roaming between satellite and terrestrial assets, in-flight connectivity, connected vehicles, network management, and optimization.
Aalyria UK, the newly established London-based entity, represents a significant expansion of Aalyria's global footprint and its commitment to the UK's flourishing space industry. It will serve as an innovation and collaboration hub, propelling Aalyria as the epicenter of its 5G TN/NTN operations in Europe, and fostering competition and sustainability in the UK and across Europe.
Chris Taylor, CEO of Aalyria, commented on these developments, "This partnership with the European Space Agency marks a major milestone in Aalyria's mission to revolutionize space communications. Establishing Aalyria UK in London is a strategic move to enhance our presence and foster innovation in the region."
Antonio Franchi, Head of Space for 5G and 6G Strategic Programme at ESA, highlighted the significance of this collaboration. "Partnering with industrial leaders like Aalyria is crucial for ESA's mission to drive the digital transformation in industry and society. This development contract could be a turning point for telecommunications systems, offering immense benefits for various stakeholders."
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