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Portland Linux/Unix Group: Server Sky - Data Centers in Orbit

Portland State University FAB, Room 86-09
1900 SW Fourth Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97201, US (map)

Access Notes

Building is at 4th and College. Room 86-01 is in the basement, take the elevator or stairs down to basement and follow the signs.




Server Sky - Data Centers in Orbit

           Power for computation on a Moore's Law schedule

                Keith Lofstrom, http://server-sky.com

 The EPA estimates US data centers (not including desktops)
 consumed 1.5% of total US electrical consumption in 2006.
 They predict a doubling to 3% of base load by 2011.  Our
 work as programmers and technologists continues this
 runaway exponential growth, and we will be stopped by
 environmental and resource limits soon.

 Server sky is a proposal to use newly emerging solid state
 technologies to build large arrays of 3 gram paper-thin
 solar-powered computation satellites in 6400km Earth orbits.

 A single server-sat replaces 15 watts of ground-based
 electrical generation, cooling, and power conversion, as
 well as the computation and communication hardware itself.
 Orbital server farms may start out as expensive as current
 approaches, but design improvement and cheaper launch will
 decrease costs exponentially over time, much as transistor
 cost has plummeted over the last four decades.

 This is open technology, responsive to public input, and
 the project needs volunteer software and engineering help
 to stay that way.  Eventually, Server Sky will create
 thousands of open technology jobs in the Portland area,
 and permit unbounded computation growth in space, while
 reducing energy demand and environmental damage on Earth.

 Earth can return to what it is good at green and growing
 things while we fill space with gray and computing things.