Monday, March 09, 2009

NASA Plans Improved 'Internet in Space'

Sean Gallagher writes on

NASA’s Deep Space Network is on the way toward becoming a true Internet in space, thanks to the agency’s research and investment in software-defined radios (SDRs). Also, the agency is preparing an SDR test module for the International Space Station that will be capable of connecting the station with an uplink of 100 megabits per second.

Pat Elben, the chairman of NASA’s software defined radio architecture and technology team (SAT) at NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation directorate, told attendees at the IDGA’s Software Radio Summit that the agency is setting up a new test platform. The platform, named the Communication Navigation and Networking Reconfigurable Testbed (CoNNeCT) will help NASA test waveforms based on the agency's Space Telecommunications Radio System (STRS), NASA's own standard for space-rated software-defined radio systems.

CoNNeCT will be added to the International Space Station in 2011, and demonstrate communications between the space station and the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite constellation that makes up the backbone of NASA’s network with three radio systems -- the Electra radio that flew aboard MRO, the General Dynamics Starlight radio, and the Orion radio -- the system being designed for NASA's follow-on to the space shuttle.

More here.


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