Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Space Internet

NASA is working on a project to extend the internet to the outer space. The technology is termed as Disruption Tolerant Networking or DTN. DTN will enable spacecrafts and satellites to communicate effectively with ground stations. DTN is also expected to lead to a inter-planetary internet in future.

Internet protocols being used on earth are unsuitable for space internet. On earth the machines are connected reliably among each other and the delay in communication is less. But in case of space internet the 2 machines will be within reach for a specific amount of time and then they may become out of reach. Also the delay in communication is high. So the Internet Research Task Force has developed a new protocol called DTN Bundle Protocol to solve the problems. With this protocol the data packets are not discarded if outages occur and are stored until an opportunity comes to transmit them.

For details you can refer to this article.