back to article Cisco trials 'internet in space'

Cisco's dream of selling radiation-proof space routers is now a step closer after a successful in-orbit test on a commercial satellite. Piggybacking aboard Intelsat's IS-14 satellite launched in November, the US Department of Defense's Internet Routing in Space (IRIS) project aims to route IP voice, video, and data traffic …


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  1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

    I'd pay for it.....

    I bet the bandwidth is out of this world!!!!

    I'll get my own coat thanks

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Moon and beyond?

    The latency for anything outside Earth orbit would be terrible.

    I hope they changed the default password.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Excuse me, but....

    Is this the same model that runs the US's FAA network?

  4. Steve Roper

    Assuming the satellites are geostationary

    That means a signal travelling between New York and Adelaide (about as far apart as you can get) is facing a hop of 35,700 km up to GEO, 132,200 km halfway around the Earth at GEO radius, and another 35,700 km back down, for a total of 203,600 km one way, giving a final round-trip distance of 407,200 km. With the signal travelling at c, that's a ping of 1.37 seconds. Given that there's currently approximately 30,000 km (allowing for all the convolutions) of cable between me and New York, my best current ping with the signal travelling at c would be 0.1 seconds. In reality it comes out at between 0.2 and 0.7 seconds depending on traffic.

    I think I'll stick with the wires, thanks :)

  5. KaD

    Assuming the satellites are geostationary

    Copper/fiber cables are always great if you can get them, but they still only serve the population centers and modern nations. As i have worked in the oil industry providing data/voice communications to some pretty far-flung places that no one has even heard about, satellites are invaluable in those cases. No one does satellite connection in the U.S. domestically, it is all fiber optic connections. You get satellite connections when you dial to places like Yemen, small island nations, off-shore facilities and remote isolated communities in places like the arctic. I can always tell when a data connection goes to a GEO sat as I get a round trip ping time of 660ms for the sat hop. I was really hoping by now we would have more low-earth orbit data satellites. Need much smaller dishes if one at all and only the power of a big cell phone to reach it. Plus the latency is almost nothing since they orbit only 200 - 2000km up.

  6. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Quantum Communications and Virtual TelePortation for Instant Good Times Travel to Other Worlds

    .... and Patently Pending Parental Patenting of IT Protocols.

    Steve Roper, [who Posted Thursday 21st January 2010 01:13 GMT, "Assuming the satellites are geostationary"]

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  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Copper/fiber cables are always great...

    Seconded. About a year ago I spent a period of time in the desert in a large middle-eastern country pretty much twiddling my thumbs on site wages waiting for 3 fiber-optic cables in the Med to be repaired as it severed our (cloud-based "global" super-database of engineering stuff) from we, the engineers on the ground.

    Those three cables serve pretty much the whole region, so when a fisherman gets a little handy with his anchor or somebody gets clever with explosives on the right bit ocean floor and suddenly the (cloud-based "global") web applications suddenly vanish.

    Although the ping times would be longer, at least it takes a little more than a boat and a lump of metal on a chain to sever the connection. (And will be useful at least until we get over this "cloud-everything" obsession.)

  8. ravenviz Silver badge

    aka DTN

    You might find this interesting:

  9. ian 22


    To be replaced by the Solar-system Wide Web? Imagine the domain names alone!

    Even the Cthulu would want it.

  10. Christian Berger Silver badge

    At least they have experience with crashing

    At least they have experience with checking if their boxes still work so they can restart them. :)

    On the other hand, maybe you should get your routers from a company which doesn't think it has to implement the 90% crap of the standard, just to get it wrong.

  11. jake Silver badge

    Internet to orbit and back? Been there ...

    I remember using "talk" to communicate with a Shuttle crew in mid '84(ish) ... My end was a VAX running BSD at Stanford, connecting thru' Ames via T1 ... I'm fairly certain that there was a protocol translator between me and space (even back then we knew the TCP/IP-based Internet wasn't secure, and never would be), but I can't for the life of me remember the details. They probably simply transmitted the ASCII into orbit (think "radio serial link"), and then put the replies into TCP/IP packets on the ground for return to Stanford.

    Anyone have any input on this? I'd love to have my memory jogged ... there has been a lot of water under the ol' bridge in the last quarter century :-)

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Don't you mean

    "internet in spaaace"?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amazonas 1 & 2 satellites already do in-orbit switching

    The AmerHIS onboard processor is up there already on Amazonas 1 and 2. It provides in-orbit switching of DVB data streams, which allows remote ground terminals to communicate directly with each other via a single hop (i.e. without the double-hop required by doing the switching at a major ground station).

    Each terminal must be within the footprint of one the satellite's beams.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    All of this...

    ... in order to watch some ^HHHHH serious pr0n from Mars,

    . No gaming tough, the pinging times (above 600ms, geez!) would turn any fast-paced action game into chess.

    New names are in order: -Solar System Wide Web or -Galaxy Wide Web or ...

    Ping times of 8 hours to Pluto... (4 hours, both ways?)

    Actually I believed it was already being done, ages ago.

    Didn´t they use it to avoid reentry radio blackout?

    So, you couldn´t surf the Web, while trying very hard to ignore the plasma glow outside the Space Shuttle windows, at the same time? Bummer.

    On the other hand, you can´t (or shouldn´t) even use your cell phone while landing on a regular plane.

  15. Witty username


    Going to be a bugger if you need to hard reset it. Mabey a biro on a robotic arm by the reset button? :D

  16. 1of10

    what bad idea it is!

    Is like it wasn't enough....

    having hackers from US, Brazil, China, Russia and Germany… Now the human race will be allowing those green Martians to hacker our World beside deploying green virus bugs!

    Now with this, we are completely doomed… we will be all dead, before climate change been able to kill us all. :S

  17. jon 72

    Thin end of the wedge..

    WGA has found you may be using a pirated copy of Windows,

    please check the AE-35 antenna assembly...

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