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Chris Metcalf

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I just read a great article in AstroBiology Magazine about Dr. Vint Cerf (one of the original inventors of TCP/IP) and his research into the problems that will arise as we begin to network systems across the solar system. These are issues already apparent as we network Mars rovers with orbiters with base stations here on Earth, when the limiting factors of transmission windows, power requirements, and 20 minute long ping-times change how one has to think about networking.

It included a pointer to the Delay Tolerant Network Research Group, which is working on standard protocols to solve those problems. I can see a number of applications for these systems right hear on earth. Imagine a network stack that could queue those file transfers and emails for that 30 second window of bandwidth you get as you drive by that open roadside WiFi access point…