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SISG Operations Concept for SSI - InterPlanetary Networking ...

SISG Operations Concept for SSI - InterPlanetary Networking ...

Operations Concept for a Solar System Internetwork (SSI)IOAG.T.RC.001.V1The SSI is envisioned to be a confederation of independent, cooperating space agencies.Individual agencies will act as SSI service providers for their user nodes, based on thecapabilities of their provider nodes. In addition, cross-support services will be negotiatedvia peering agreements, defining how one agency can access another agency’s SSI networkelements.Based on the anticipated trend toward more complex space networking scenarios, and onthe clear benefits of improved bandwidth utilization, simplified user operations,standardized network interfaces, and more straightforward interagency cross support, theIOAG’s SISG recommends a timely evolution toward a fully operational SSI.Page | 6

Operations Concept for a Solar System Internetwork (SSI)IOAG.T.RC.001.V11 Introduction1.1 BackgroundThe vast majority of space communication scenarios to date have involved relatively simplesingle-hop links between a spacecraft and its ground-based mission operations center. Forsuch scenarios, straightforward link-layer functionality is sufficient to support end-to-enddata transfer and a relatively mature set of link-layer and cross-support standards havebeen developed under the aegis of the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems(CCSDS) and are routinely used in flight operations. With these simple point-to-pointtopologies, there is little need for a network layer in the overall communication protocolstack.However, future space mission scenarios are envisioned with much richer topologiesinvolving multiple spacecraft and with data flowing across multiple hops and over multiplepaths to achieve end-to-end data transfers. Such scenarios will demand the implementationof a functional SSI network layer to support routing of data over this more complextopology. Like the terrestrial Internet, such an architecture will support simple networkinterfaces for users, including provision of end-to-end network data transfer services;however, when required it will also address the intermittent connectivity characteristic ofspace missions and the long light-time delays inherent in interplanetary links.In fact, relay communication is already being used today operationally at Mars to greatadvantage. The Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, have returned 98% of theirdata via ultrahigh frequency (UHF) relays through Odyssey, Mars Global Surveyor, MarsExpress (MEX), and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)—far more than could havebeen returned on the rovers’ X-band direct-to-Earth links. The 2007 Phoenix (PHX) Landermission dispensed completely with direct-to-Earth X-band links on its landed spacecraft,utilizing only UHF communications via Odyssey, MRO, and MEX to reduce mass, power, andcost. However, these data relay operations, while very effective, are at this point still highlyidiosyncratic, with mission-unique, store-and-forward, application-layer functionsimplemented directly above the link layer. Routing of data is based on private methods andground-based sequencing, without any functional network layer. Ultimately, this approachdrives implementation and operations cost and complexity and cannot scale efficiently tomore complex network scenarios.The IOAG anticipates a wide range of future space exploration concepts that will exploitnetwork communications, motivating a rapid transition to a true Solar System Internetwork.Examples include:Mars exploration: The coming decade of Mars exploration will involve a range oflarge in situ rovers, ranging in size from Mars Exploration Rover (MER)-class up toMars Science Laboratory (MSL)-class, with high-rate payload suites includingstereoscopic panoramic imaging, hyperspectral imaging, microscopic imaging, andHigh Definition video. Spatially distributed networks of small, stationary landers maycollaborate to perform geological and meteorological investigations. In the 2020s, acollection of spacecraft, including one or more landers and rovers, a Mars AscentVehicle, and an Earth return vehicle, may cooperate to return the first MartianPage | 7

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