New company aims to store cloud data in space
A small startup called Cloud Constellation Corporation has announced plans to build a space-based cloud storage network called SpaceBelt.
The SpaceBelt network will utilize a combination of Earth-orbiting satellites and secure ground networks to let cloud service providers, multifaceted businesses, and government entities store vast amounts of data securely in space and allow clients to retrieve their information in fractions of a second.
Scott Sobhani, the co-founder and CEO of Cloud Constellation Corporation, describes SpaceBelt as cloud infrastructure, not a cloud service. He said the company’s global network plan involves a minimum network of seven satellites covering Earth starting as soon as 2019, with beta testing of the system beginning in 2018.
“SpaceBelt is the information ultra-highway of the future,” Sobhani told SpaceFlight Insider.
SpaceBelt is designed to communicate and modularly adapt over time as society’s needs and technologies change and grow. The scale of the data being stored and transmitted would be measured from petabytes to exabytes.
Sobhani said current methods to provide such data storage and communication services would cost over $4 billion.
“We have found a way to take a $4 billion network ambition to cover [the] globe to extract a more efficient and more dynamic way of connecting the world,” Sobhani said.
The Cloud Constellation team, composed of specialists in their respective fields from different areas of the satellite industry, reduced the cost of this concept to $460 million, making it more capable and efficient in the process.
Sobhani said the company is in talks with four major satellite manufacturers to make SpaceBelt a reality.
“The satellite industry is starting to show a lot of excitement for our system,” said Sobhani.
Sobhani said SpaceBelt is the product of merging the satellite telecommunications and cloud storage industry. He said no one has come up with such a plan in a way that they have before.
“SpaceBelt is uniquely able to guard and protect the data of our clients,” Sobhani said. “Space is a form of international waters. It is also accessible all the time.”
SpaceBelt’s offer of secure, fast, and adaptable data communications and storage is meant for a wide variety of industries. This includes medical, banking, insurance, energy, archiving, and government institutions, all of which handle vast amounts of data and their transfer between offices and clients.
The network also has designs to meet the needs of the military. Among them involve the secure controlling and data storage of automated drones, particularly in remote and hostile regions of the globe where real-time information is critical to mission success.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Sobhani first worked at Hughes Aircraft Company after college. He later worked at Lockheed Martin, where he was involved in broadband communications, systems involved in cellular communications, and launch services.
Sobhani’s experience in the telecommunications industry is what eventually led to his cofounding of Cloud Constellation Corporation with Vice Chairman Hooshang Kaen and creating the SpaceBelt concept with his team.
“Quite literally, SpaceBelt is the cloud network above all others,” Sobhani said. “We have a truly unified integrated cloud network approach.”
Larry Klaes is an author and freelance journalist specializing in news and educational work on the sciences. Klae's past endeavors include editor of SETIQuest magazine and President of the Boston chapter of the National Space Society (NSS). Klaes joined SpaceFlight Insider in 2016.