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Rising above the cloud: toward high-rate delay-tolerant networking in low earth orbit

Rising above the cloud: toward high-rate delay-tolerant networking in low earth orbit

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The high data rate architecture (HiDRA) project is implementing a high-rate delay-tolerant networking (HDTN) capability that can support low Earth orbit (LEO) applications and environments. The present state of the effort, future work, and other elements of the work to date are described in this chapter. This implementation is intended to support applications that run at 1+ Gbps per the requirements of modern optical and high-frequency radio frequency links. Uniquely, this implementation is also tuned to support relay and data trunking applications, which might require support for large numbers of small bundles per second. The design for this platform is based entirely on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components and possesses buffering capabilities in the 5 TB range. This document takes results from previous individual tests and integrates them to demonstrate results in the presence of a coherent use-case, for example, consider a network aboard the International Space Station which intends to utilize an upcoming optical communications capability. For this use-case, orbital analysis software is used to analyze orbital dynamics, from which a list of access times are generated that might take in to account weather, schedule competition, etc. A variant of contact graph routing (CGR) is applied to these windows to determine an optimal schedule. This schedule is then loaded into the HDTN prototype and, in conjunction with various measurement tools, a complete end-to-end analysis of HDTN's performance is conducted. Various bottlenecks (including storage) are identified: these bottlenecks are expected to help us focus our future work on the elements of the system that are most likely to present issues moving forward. Finally, we discuss possible paths for evolution beyond the present rates supported by the system, including (but not limited to) hardware acceleration.

Chapter Contents:

  • 10.1 Introduction
  • 10.1.1 Network model of optical communications
  • 10.1.2 Experiment network
  • 10.2 Delay-tolerant networking
  • 10.2.1 Interoperability of software components
  • 10.3 Scenario: generating a connectivity model
  • 10.4 High-rate delay-tolerant networking
  • 10.4.1 Introduction
  • 10.4.2 Components
  • 10.4.3 Interconnect
  • 10.4.4 System flow
  • 10.5 Test discussion
  • 10.5.1 Networking test results
  • 10.6 Conclusion
  • Acknowledgments
  • References

Inspec keywords: telecommunication scheduling; graph theory; Internet; telecommunication network routing; telecommunication traffic; delay tolerant networks; optical communication; resource allocation; artificial satellites; space communication links

Other keywords: HDTN prototype; high-rate delay-tolerant networking capability; support relay; buffering capabilities; complete end-to-end analysis; orbital analysis software; support low Earth orbit applications; high data rate architecture project; orbital dynamics; memory size 5.0 TByte; upcoming optical communications capability; data trunking applications; high-frequency radio frequency links

Subjects: Free-space optical links; Combinatorial mathematics; Other computer networks; Combinatorial mathematics; Communication network design, planning and routing; Computer communications

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