US startup LyteLoop Technologies is developing in-orbit storage technology, right on board satellites. According to LyteLoop CEO Ohad Harlev, this storage method will be greener, safer, more scalable and confidential than traditional data centers on Earth. This concept has earned the confidence of private investors who recently invested $ 0 million in LyteLoop.
LyteLoop is developing a so-called photonic data warehouse, where information is encoded in pulses of light that travel endlessly between mirrors or in closed fiber optics. LyteLoop could apply its technology on Earth using larger tubes, smaller cells and fiber optics, but the company’s top priority is building space data centers, said Harlev, who previously worked in the satellite industry. “For the technology to work, it has to operate [light] in a vacuum, or near vacuum, and space provides this for free,” he said.
The company plans to deliver six experimental satellites into orbit within three years, and launch a data storage service in five years. The funds raised will allow the startup to quadruple its team and hire the engineers and scientists needed to improve the technology and launch satellites. According to Harlev, the main target customers of the company will be organizations that need to store large amounts of data: enterprises focused on the B2B market, as well as enterprises with strict requirements for security, privacy or data management.
LyteLoop_Constellation_v08 from LyteLoop Technologies LLC. on Vimeo.
LyteLoop satellite storage will be more secure than traditional storage systems, since data will be in space – it travels at the speed of light and is constantly in motion between satellites, which will make hacking much more difficult, the head of the company said. LyteLoop plans to use quantum encryption to protect data, which it says cannot be broken. Another positive point is that customers do not need to worry about the rules of data sovereignty and which country their data is in, because the information will be stored in space.
LyteLoop is also more scalable than traditional data centers. By creating more pathways for light to travel, the company could increase storage capacity, Harlev said. Launching satellites and building a space data center will cost more than building a traditional data center, but Harlev argues that the cost of operating and managing exabyte storage in space is less than 1/10 of the cost of running a data center on Earth.
As a result, according to Harlev, the total cost of ownership of a service in space will be much lower over a 10-year period compared to building and managing comparable data centers on Earth. The cost savings are partly due to the fact that LyteLoop technology is much more environmentally friendly. The space data center is solar powered, he said, and does not need large amounts of water to cool equipment, nor does it need raw materials and supplies for storage equipment.
«It’s much more environmentally friendly, says Harlev. – Data center utilization (on Earth) is usually measured in mW, but to put things in perspective, we are talking about a fraction of the energy used – in kW. You can store exabytes of data using 35 to 40 kW. ”
Customers will be able to access the data just as they do now. A user on Earth requests a file, the request goes from the ground station to the gateway satellite and to the LyteLoop satellites. Data is sent back down in the same way. “It’s very fast. End-to-end latency is less than 45ms, ”said the director of LyteLoop.
According to Harlev, he also had negotiations with potential partners who could place the servers in space. In theory, they would be able to offer a full range of data center services, enabling customers to perform data analytics in space.