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NASA launches the Internet in space: The foundations for communication between planets

NASA has announced the use of an infrastructure DTM inside the ISS, with which the space station can act as a node for communication in a future spatial the Internet.

In recent weeks, NASA has laid the foundation for the creation of an internet network for the Solar System through the implementation of an operational service DTN (Delay / Disruption Tolerant Networking) on the International Space Station (ISS).

The service will help to automate and improve the availability of data for researchers working in the space station thanks to a more efficient use of the bandwidth available. The technology can also be used on the ground within particular situations.

The technology used by NASA for the ISS is extremely effective for the Agency’s purposes, especially considering the difficulties in data transmissions that take place in space. To share information between the Earth and the various orbital stations have to do it in a very specific period of time, a feature that naturally affects the complexity of the information that can be exchanged between the various parties. DTN works so that the organization of transmissions is automated and much more effective.

DTN network establishes a ” store and forward ” that stores data partial bundle in knots until they can be forwarded to the addressee or retransmitted. The system can operate with both terrestrial and orbital stations, and for communication between different planets.

The operation differs significantly from the traditional Internet protocols, which require that all nodes of the transmission path are available at the same time to ensure that the data transfer is successfully performed.

The technology has been deployed on the ISS within the TRek (Telescience Resource Kit), a software suite that researchers use to transmit and receive data between operational centers and the station. The birth of the service determines the commencement of the station as a node in the nascent Solar System Internet, with the technology that can also be useful on Earth, for example in regions affected by various disasters when traditional communications systems do not they are temporarily reliable.

To realize the node to the ISS, NASA has partnered with one of the ” fathers of the Internet ” Vinton G. Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google, ” Our experience with the DTN on the space station leads us to think of more applications even on Earth, especially for the mobile communications where connections can be discontinuous and unreliable, ” said Cerf. ” In some cases, the remaining power of the battery may be an issue, and the devices may have to postpone communication until the charge is adequate. ”

Notions, according to Cerf, which are very important in view of the wave of IoT devices in progress. NASA has also worked with the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF), the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), in order to standardize the DTN networks and ensure a more widespread use even on Land. Initial implementations will be available to the public as an open-source, so that the developer community can contribute to the evolution of technology.