Disruption tolerant networking to demonstrate internet in space

July 16, 2018

NASA's Human Exploration and Operations and Science Mission Directorates are collaborating to make interplanetary internet a reality.

They're about to demonstrate Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking, or DTN - a technology that sends information much the same way as conventional internet does. Information is put into DTN bundles, which are sent through space and ground networks to its destination.

Data Delivery

The Science Mission Directorate looks forward to incorporating DTN into future missions and has identified the Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem, or PACE, mission as the first key opportunity to demonstrate this revolutionary capability.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, first tested DTN during a science mission to a comet in 2008. That technology demonstration proved out the capability of DTN as part of the Deep Impact - EPOXI mission. PACE will take an important next step in using DTN as part of daily operations.

"DTN represents a shift in how data will get delivered in the future. I'm delighted PACE will become the first science mission to employ DTN," said David Israel.

Targeted to launch in the early 2020s, PACE will advance scientists' ability to assess the health of Earth's oceans by measuring the distribution of phytoplankton, tiny plants and algae that sustain the marine food web. It will also continue systematic records of key atmospheric variables associated with air quality and Earth's climate.

Antarctica Demonstration

The decision to infuse DTN on a space platform comes just months after NASA engineers demonstrated the technology from the National Science Foundation's McMurdo Station in Antarctica -- a highly remote location with limited communication infrastructure. The demonstration showed that NASA could operate "internet style" between two endpoints within two different networks that do not have a continuous path between them, Israel said.

DTN could become a communication necessity for all types of terrestrial applications. Any remote location on Earth that has limited network connectivity is a candidate for DTN, Israel said.

NASA plans to build out a Solar System Internet with international partners, beginning with NASA's Near Earth Network, Space Network and Deep Space Network, Israel added. Both the Solar System Internet concept and DTN are part of NASA's Decade of Light initiative, through which the agency is developing and refining next-generation communications and navigation technologies for use in future science and exploration missions. Exploration missions will use DTN to expand the network to the Moon, allowing communication between surface and orbiting elements and with Earth.

"We're really pushing to get DTN in use," Israel said. "This is an important first step in that process."
-end-
For more Goddard technology news, go to: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/summer_2018_final_web_version.pdf

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Related Technology Articles from Brightsurf:

December issue SLAS Technology features 'advances in technology to address COVID-19'
The December issue of SLAS Technology is a special collection featuring the cover article, ''Advances in Technology to Address COVID-19'' by editors Edward Kai-Hua Chow, Ph.D., (National University of Singapore), Pak Kin Wong, Ph.D., (The Pennsylvania State University, PA, USA) and Xianting Ding, Ph.D., (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China).

October issue SLAS Technology now available
The October issue of SLAS Technology features the cover article, 'Role of Digital Microfl-uidics in Enabling Access to Laboratory Automation and Making Biology Programmable' by Varun B.

Robot technology for everyone or only for the average person?
Robot technology is being used more and more in health rehabilitation and in working life.

Novel biomarker technology for cancer diagnostics
A new way of identifying cancer biomarkers has been developed by researchers at Lund University in Sweden.

Technology innovation for neurology
TU Graz researcher Francesco Greco has developed ultra-light tattoo electrodes that are hardly noticeable on the skin and make long-term measurements of brain activity cheaper and easier.

April's SLAS Technology is now available
April's Edition of SLAS Technology Features Cover Article, 'CURATE.AI: Optimizing Personalized Medicine with Artificial Intelligence'.

Technology in higher education: learning with it instead of from it
Technology has shifted the way that professors teach students in higher education.

Post-lithium technology
Next-generation batteries will probably see the replacement of lithium ions by more abundant and environmentally benign alkali metal or multivalent ions.

Rethinking the role of technology in the classroom
Introducing tablets and laptops to the classroom has certain educational virtues, according to Annahita Ball, an assistant professor in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, but her research suggests that tech has its limitations as well.

The science and technology of FAST
The Five hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), located in a radio quiet zone, with the targets (e.g., radio pulsars and neutron stars, galactic and extragalactic 21-cm HI emission).

Read More: Technology News and Technology Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.