LIVERMORE, Calif. & LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aalyria, a leader in advanced software-defined and optical networking communications, has been awarded a development contract with the European Space Agency (ESA), supported by the UK Space Agency (UKSA), to help unlock new 5G/6G Terrestrial (TN) and Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) capabilities. The project aims to develop a first-of-its-kind O-RAN compliant orchestration system that can stitch together disparate connectivity assets to form highly heterogeneous networks that span land, sea, air, and space to deliver new NTN connectivity features based on emerging 5G-Advanced and 6G standards. Representing the significance of the collaboration and a commitment to 5G TN/NTN services, Aalyria has also established a European entity of its business with headquarters in London.
Aalyria’s work with ESA is focused on enabling interoperability within and among existing and future TN/NTNs, such as those leveraging satellites, HAPS, and space-based assets. Stitching together these assets has proven difficult in the past because, as opposed to fixed, terrestrial ones, non-terrestrial assets are in constant motion relative to the Earth, one another, and potential users – and have traditionally relied on bespoke orchestration systems that are not built for interoperability.
Aalyria is solving this problem with its Spacetime platform – an advanced network orchestration capability that can create, manage, and remedy mesh communications networks that span any domain — land, sea, air, and space — across any number of communications-equipped assets, utilizing any radio frequency band or optical wavelength. Spacetime considers all factors that could impact the ability of any asset to close a connection and automatically reroutes connections in real-time to maintain optimal connectivity across the entire network. Spacetime is a production-validated platform, having orchestrated complex HAPS networks on Google’s Project Loon in Kenya and Peru. In recent months, Aalyria has struck partnerships with Telesat, Intelsat and Rivada Space Networks to utilize the Spacetime platform.
Working with ESA, Aalyria will adapt Spacetime to develop a novel TN/NTN-capable Service Management & Orchestration platform and make it available to partners at ESA's ECSAT 5G/6G Hub in Harwell, United Kingdom. Aalyria and ESA will work to identify, implement, and test significant enhancements to the O-RAN Alliance’s standardized Radio Access Network management interfaces (O1, A1, E2) to support future use cases, such as at-sea connectivity; roaming between satellite and terrestrial assets; in-flight connectivity; connected vehicles; network management and optimization; and more.
In addition to the announcement, Aalyria has also established Aalyria UK – Aalyria’s global 5G TN/NTN headquarters in London. With a growing team of full-time staff now located in the United Kingdom, this new entity represents a significant expansion of Aalyria’s global presence and signifies the company’s commitment to strengthening ties within the United Kingdom's thriving space industry.
Aalyria UK will serve as a hub for innovation, collaboration, and the development of world-class technologies, as the company works to establish Europe as the center of its 5G TN/NTN business. Furthermore, Aalyria UK will catalyze competition and sustainability, not only in the UK, but throughout the European continent.
Regarding these developments, Aalyria CEO Chris Taylor stated, "This achievement marks a significant milestone in Aalyria's journey towards reshaping the future of space communications to create a new universal connectivity fabric. Our collaboration with the European Space Agency is a testament to our dedication to pushing the boundaries of what is possible with 5G NTN connectivity. We are also excited to introduce Aalyria UK, which will serve as a strategic hub for our operations in the United Kingdom, fostering new partnerships and driving innovation in the region."
Antonio Franchi, Head of Space for 5G and 6G Strategic Programme at ESA, said: “Collaborations with industrial partners, like this one with Aalyria, play a pivotal role in ESA's efforts to advance the digital transformation of industry and society, thanks to the integration of 5G/6G Terrestrial and Non-Terrestrial Networks. Establishing seamless ubiquitous and resilient connectivity is vital in the context of emerging technologies. The platform envisioned under this development contract could be a game-changing asset for telecommunications systems, with substantial benefits for stakeholders.”
About the European Space Agency
The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.
ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.
ESA has 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia are Associate Members.
ESA has established formal cooperation with four Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.
By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. It is working in particular with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes as well as with Eumetsat for the development of meteorological missions.
Learn more about ESA at www.esa.int