A Year of SpaceOS: Showing the World the Benefits of OCaml

by Shakthi Kannan on Sep 20th, 2023

I have had the pleasure of attending some great conferences over the past year, where I have presented some of the latest and most exciting OCaml use cases developed at Tarides. With our new SpaceOS solution, Tarides can provide significant quality-of-life upgrades for industries that rely on satellites to power their critical infrastructure. In this post, I’ll share the best parts of my experience at the different conferences along with my key takeaways.

India Space Congress 2023

The India Space Congress 2023 conference was held in the Grand Hyatt, New Delhi, between July 10-12, 2023. This is only the second edition of the conference, and yet there were more than 500 participants and representation from over 30 countries. The event was graced by the presence of governors from three states in India, ambassadors, the heads of space agencies, the chief economist at NASA, as well as senior officers from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Department of Telecommunication (DoT).

Shakthi is standing next to a vertical sign from the India Space Congress 2023 conferece. The sign features the logos of partners and sponsors.

The conference was organised by the SatCom Industry Association, a nonprofit organisation who cater to the interests of the space industry in India. They act as a platform for collaboration between academia, industry, and governments. Their members include satellite operators, suppliers, manufacturers, law firms, and academic institutions – they now have over 150 registered start-ups!

India has recently signed the Artemis Accords in order to participate in the Artemis program. The Indian Space Research Organisation owns and manages all the satellites in India; however, the recently announced India Space Policy 2023 is now allowing private players to enter into the space market.

In previous years, an 18% Goods and Services Tax (GST) was levied on private players entering into the space market. As part of a series of reforms starting in 2020, the government of India now exempts private launch service companies from the tax. The current public-private partnership (PPP) model permits the use of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), and knowledge transfers to these start-ups for use in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.

I had the opportunity to interact with a number of distinguished speakers, dignitaries, start-up founders, and leaders in the space sector during the event. We look forward to continuing our engagement to nurture and lead space initiatives. Tarides is proud to be one of the DeepTech Space startups in India!

IoT Solutions World Congress 2023, Barcelona

Tarides has also been participating in IoT conferences to foster collaboration and explore potential partnerships. Space-OS was launched at the IoT Solutions World Congress held between January 31-February 2, 2023 at Gran Via, Fira de Barcelona. Tarides showcased SpaceOS using an exhibit booth that we shared with Systematic and Région Île-de-France in the ‘La French Tech’ area of the conference.

A monitor showing a slide which says SpaceOS - the foundation for the next generation of satellites. Tarides will develop the next generation of satellite OS – for Europe's space industry, based on the best research from Inria and The University of Cambridge. Bullet points: smaller, more secure, faster, more flexible. Arrow pointing to: Satellites are much more secure, more capable, more flexible and more sustainable vs. any competitor. The monitor itself is on a wall with the logos of Tarides, Systematic, and Région Île de France

SpaceOS provides a secure and efficient solution for multiuser and multimission satellites. It is built on unikernels and uses the MirageOS library operating system. Its compact and flexible design allows users to build and deploy custom applications with ease. The platform can also be used for IoT and edge computing applications, including in simulators to speed development and testing of satellites. Moreover, we see a 20x smaller memory footprint and faster processing time as compared to current solutions in the market. If you would like to know more about the specs of SpaceOS, you can contact us and we will be happy to share more information with you.

We had a number of visitors at our booth with whom we discussed the many possibilities where our OS-model could be used including in automobile, healthcare, energy, manufacturing, factory, and industrial use cases. According to a 2022 survey by the Eclipse Foundation, most hardware devices currently use a memory-unsafe programming language. You are encouraged to read our earlier article on how your programming language can impact on cybersecurity of your application. Although our focus for the coming years will primarily be on the space and satellite industry, we are also exploring IoT solutions for different verticals.

IOTshow.in 2022, Bengaluru

The iotshow.in conference was held at the Karnataka Trade Promotion Organization (KTPO) in Whitefield, Bengaluru, between November 23-25, 2022. The conference had a B2B Expo which was a triad of India Electronics Week, IOTshow.in, and smartBHARAT. The three-day event had over 10,000 registrations, 120 speakers, and 300 different IoT brands.

Shakthi is standing in front of a sign which says "thank you to our speakers & advisors in 2022", the sign has headshots of different speakers at the conference.

I gave a talk on "Foundations to Security by Design: A Novel Approach to Building Type-Safe, Modular, and Efficient IoT Solutions" where I introduced the current challenges in the IoT industry with regard to security. I followed this up with the concept of unikernels and how MirageOS addresses these security issues. I also gave OCaml industrial use cases such as Hyper, Nitrokey, and Thales. A demo running a Solo5 unikernel that hosts the MirageOS www-htdocs consuming very little memory was demonstrated on a Raspberry Pi! A demo video is available.

See You Soon

Tarides was once again a silver sponsor at the 28th ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Functional Programming held in Seattle between 4-9 September 2023. I had some fruitful discussions at that conference as well, and enjoyed meeting more like-minded people.

I would like to thank Tarides for sponsoring my travel to the conferences, and I look forward to more interactions with industry representatives! Conferences offer a great opportunity to learn from others, including exploring the needs and challenges of different sectors and how Tarides can provide solutions. I hope to see you around soon!