It is no secret that NASA is ahead in most developments in the field of science, most especially when it involves enhancements in outer space. This time, the space agency has made significant steps forward in establishing a Solar System Internet. This system is meant to make the gathering of information between stations, whether ground or space, more efficient.
Science World Report shares that NASA is doing so by setting up an operational Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) service on the International Space Station (ISS). The DTN service will act as a storage facility for bundles of data in nodes, until such can be delivered. Once the timing is right, the data will be rebundled at its final destination.
According to the publication, DTN was added to the space station's 'Telescience Resource Kit (TReK). TRek is a software suite which helps researchers in the transfer of their data between operations and missions about the ISS. Supposedly, the establishment of the DTN, and the Solar System Internet in general, can also act as a contingency plan. This is because the system can prove advantageous during times of disaster, or in disaster prone areas.
According to NASA itself, the first use of the service in terms of space missions marks the start of the space station acting as a node in the developing Solar System Internet.
The agent worked closely with Dr. Vinton G. Cerf, who is the vice president and chief internet evangelist of Google, for this project. Dr. Cerf has shared he believes DTN can one day be used on the ground as well. "Our experience with DTN... leads to additional terrestrial applications, especially for mobile communications, in which connections may be erratic and discontinuous." He goes on further to share that their innovations are vital to the development of the Internet of Things.
In order to certify that DTN can be used in a larger scale, NASA has worked with the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF), the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Together, they have put together an international standard.