Towards the internet for space: Bringing cloud computing to space systems

Simone Briatore, Nicola Garzaniti, Alessandro Golkar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Data is the most valuable asset in space. It is produced by communicating and observing payloads, then downlinked to ground stations, and eventually delivered to the users, who generate information and insights from it. This paper explores an alternative avenue for the exploitation of space data, with the concept of Space Cloud. The space cloud is an orbiting cloud computing infrastructure providing in-orbit data storage and processing services. The idea is to enable on-orbit decision making including reactive planning and scheduling decisions, as well as complex resource management in space networks. The space cloud is the missing element to enable efficient and reliable intersatellite connectivity on top of which a whole new set of services and opportunities can be built in a similar fashion to what happened for the Internet during the 1990s. Building on previous work by the authors, this paper illustrates new efforts for the development of the space cloud concept through the demonstration of optical communication technology as a backbone for cloud computing in space. We illustrate how optical communications technology is an enabler of future space clouds.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIET Conference Publications
PublisherInstitution of Engineering and Technology
ISBN (Electronic)9781785618161, 9781785618437, 9781785618468, 9781785618871, 9781785619427, 9781785619694, 9781785619915, 9781839530029, 9781839530036, 9781839530654
ISBN (Print)9781785617911
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event36th International Communications Satellite Systems Conference, ICSSC 2018 - Niagara Falls, Canada
Duration: 15 Oct 201818 Oct 2018

Publication series

NameIET Conference Publications


Conference36th International Communications Satellite Systems Conference, ICSSC 2018
CityNiagara Falls


  • Optical intersatellite links
  • Satellite communications
  • Space cloud


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