[FoRK] Server Sky - Internet and computation in orbit

Gregory Alan Bolcer greg at bolcer.org
Fri Jun 21 06:36:13 PDT 2013


This reminds me of Bloom County's Net Wars.

I don't have time to find the strip right now, but here's the summary.

The Defense Department sends Opus $900 million, mistaking him for "Mr. 
Spock, chief science officer for 'Star Trek' defense research". The 
newly opulent Opus enlists Oliver's help in designing "Net Wars", a 
strategic defense plan involving $500 billion in small bills stitched 
into a giant space net. (p15, 18 strips)

<<insert own sky thinstat snarky comment here>>

On 6/21/2013 3:32 AM, Eugen Leitl wrote:
>
> (This may be Wacky Friday, but this one is not tongue in cheek -- the name
> Keith Lofstrom should ring a bell).
>
> http://server-sky.com/
>
> Server Sky - internet and computation in orbit
>
> It is easier to move terabits than kilograms or megawatts. Space solar power
> will solve the energy crisis. Sooner if we process space power into high
> value computation before we send it to earth. Computation is most valuable
> where it is rarest - in the rural developing world. Human attention is the
> most valuable resource on earth, and Server Sky space-based internet can
> transport that attention from where it is most abundant to where it is most
> valued.
>
>
> Click RecentChanges on any page to see what I've been working on lately. This
> website is a public work in progress - warts and all.
>
> Server Sky thinsats are ultralight films of glass that convert sunlight into
> computation and communications. Powered by solar cells, propelled and steered
> by light pressure, networked and located by microwaves, and cooled by
> radiation into deep space. Arrays of tens of thousands of thinsats act as
> highly redundant computation and database servers, as well as phased array
> antennas to reach thousands of transceivers on the ground.
>
> First generation thinsats are 20 centimeters across (about 8 inches) and 0.08
> millimeters (80 microns) thick, and weigh 5 grams. They can be mass produced
> with off-the-shelf semiconductor and display technologies. Thousands of radio
> chips provide intra-array, inter-array, and ground communication, as well as
> precise location information. Thinsats are launched stacked by the thousands
> in solid cylinders, shrouded and vibration isolated inside a traditional
> satellite bus.
>
> Traditional data centers consume almost 3% of US electrical power, and this
> fraction is growing rapidly. Server arrays in orbit can grow to virtually
> unlimited computation power, communicate with the whole world, pay for
> themselves with electricity savings, and greatly reduce pollution and
> resource usage in the biosphere.
>
> The goal is an energy and space launch growth path that follows Moore's Law,
> with the cost of energy and launch halving every two years. Server Sky may
> cost two to ten times as much as ground-based computation in 2015, but is may
> cost 100 times less in 2035. The computation growth driven by Moore's Law is
> solving difficult problems from genetics to improved manufacture for
> semiconductors. If Server Sky and Moore's Law can do the same for clean
> energy, we can get rid of the carbon fuel plants, undam the rivers, and
> reduce atmospheric CO2 far sooner than we had dared hope. Energy production
> systems based on manual manufacturing, human construction assembly, and the
> use of terrestrial land, biological habitat, and surface water, packaged to
> survive weather, gravity, and corrosion, cannot grow at the same rate as
> Moore's Law.
>
> Server Sky is speculative. The most likely technical showstopper is radiation
> damage. The most likely practical showstopper is misunderstanding. Working
> together, we can fix the latter.
>
>
> Why Bother? 212 Acres and a Marble
>
> Thinsat Detailed Description
>
> Thinsat Propulsion and Navigation
>
> Deployment orbits
>
> Launching Thinsats from Earth
>
> Radios for communication, interconnect, synchronization, radar, and
> orientation
>
> The Space Environment - Radiation, Drag, Collisions, Erosion
>
> Manufacturing Thinsats
>
> Biological and Environmental Effects
>
> Future Possibilities - low cost launch, terascale arrays, beam power to
> Earth, scientific sensors
>
> Criticism
>
> Contact Us
>
> Participate . . . . Mailing List Signup]
>
> The Launch Loop, a speculative space launch system useful for launching
> Server Sky.
>
> This website is under construction - many of the sections need filling in. If
> you want to improve spelling, add expertise, etc... send me an ASCII (not
> html) email  and I will add you to the editor's list.
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>

-- 
greg at bolcer.org, http://bolcer.org, c: +1.714.928.5476


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