Developing Wireless Communications to Space Essay

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A big potential problem in the future is developing a wireless communications network in outer space. In this paper we will discuss the problems presented with this and the potential solutions to these problems using existing and some futuristic technology. We have broke this into two main parts, one being earth to satellite to planet and back, and the other being planetary ground transmission to and from astronauts to rovers to space stations. The solution has already started being implemented and will continue rapidly into the near future. It is called the Interplanetary Internet. As of now it is an array of floating 'nodes' or satellites scattered around in space that can communicate with each other. In the future a…show more content…
On the earth we are only separated from one another by fractions of a second. From earth to mars the average transmission time is 30-45 minutes. That would feel like light-years trying to download tracks to your iPod. In order to make this work a massive system of satellites needs to be implemented. These satellites will serve as 'net gateways' with the purpose of conveying data packets. Each piece of equipment will have its own IPN address, or .mars domain name. They will serve as nodes, operating on a packet switched network. Some major possible problems include lag, weak signal, and reduced bandwidth. The solution to all of these lies in a new IPN protocol being developed. This protocol, along with high precision equipment, will help to eliminated all of these. The protocol has changed in two major ways from our own TCP/IP protocol. This first is a packet delivery scheme that won’t clog the system by resending missing packets. IPN instead keeps track of arriving packets and then requesting missing ones at the end of delivery. The second is the packet headers will use only one tenth as much bandwidth as TCP/IP. Back on earth there will be gateways to translate. Another big problem with the Interplanetary Internet is speed. Using our current technology the top speed for sending data from a satellite orbiting mars to earth is 250 kbps. Down on mars, in a dusty unknown atmosphere with not much power, this is more like 10 kbps. The solution
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