On board the International Space Station, equipment is installed that will allow sending and receiving signals from the orbits and surfaces of planets or comets without delays and disturbances. The new telecommunications network is called Delay / Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) and is soon expected to be able to cover most of our space “neighborhoods.”
The network will help to cope with unreliable communication, because in space for various reasons, there are often delays and gaps. The quality of communication is affected by radiation, voltage fluctuations, interference and many other factors, so the appearance of such a network will cope with the various difficulties that arise in the transmission of information.
To transmit information in a traditional way via the normal Internet, it is necessary that all nodes in the transmission path are available all the time while the data is being received. DTN works differently. Now you can forward data packets in parts that can be transmitted and automatically stored in nodes along the entire data path until all the necessary pieces are collected. Upon receipt, they will be collected or can be replaced with similar data sent in full upon retransmission.
NASA is also thinking about other features of the new system. For example, the possibilities of using DTN for mobile communications on the Earth are also considered – the network can be useful in those places where the quality of communication is not very good, or it does not exist at all.