Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Internet router in space

Yes, more military communication developments. This time there may be social benefits as the US military plans to test an internet router in space, in a project that could also benefit civilian broadband satellite communications:

Cisco Systemsand Intelsat General, a subsidiary of Intelsat, are among the companies selected by the US Department of Defence for its Internet Routing In Space (IRIS) project, which aims to deliver military communications through a satellite-based router. Potential non-military benefits of the IRIS program include the ability to route IP traffic between satellites in space in much the same way packets are moved on the ground, reducing delays, saving on capacity and offering greater networking flexibility, says Lloyd Wood, space initiatives manager in the Global Defense, Space & Security division of Cisco.

To send a message from one remote terminal to another via satellite today requires the first terminal to send the data to the satellite, from where it is bounced back to an earth station for routing. The earth station re-transmits it to the satellite on a different frequency, selected depending on its destination, and the satellite bounces it back to its destination. With the router in space, the satellite can pick the channel used to send the message to its destination. By eliminating the message's round trip to the earth station, operators can increase satellite capacity and reduce transmission times between remote terminals by using fewer hops and fewer frequencies for each message.

Read the full article: US military plans to put internet router in space


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