The Office of Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) at NASA Headquarters leads the Delay Tolerant Networking (DTN) investigation with the goal of advancing the maturity and heritage (space flight use) of the DTN communication protocols.
Delay tolerant networks make use of store-and-forward techniques within the network in order to compensate for intermittent link connectivity. In the DTN the fundamental concept is an architecture based on Internet-independent middleware where protocols at all layers are used that best suit the operation within each environment, with a new overlay network protocol (bundle protocol) inserted between the applications and the locally optimized communications stacks.
The internet, in contrast, is a connected network where internet protocols, most notably transmission control protocol/internet protocol (TCP/IP), are dependent upon (low) latencies of approximately milliseconds. This low latency, coupled with low bit error rates (BER), allows TCP to reliably transmit and receive acknowledgements for messages traversing the terrestrial Internet.
Project Overview & Stats
This project launched in September, 2013 and was completed in March, 2014.
The project was completed using 8 challenges and had 154 registrants from over 25 countries. The primary objective of the project involved adding the LTP Authentication Procedures as specified in section 2.1 of RFC5327 to the LTP implementation that is part of the ION Open Source (IOS) DTN package.