New Internet for Space, New Technologies to Test - Possible Futures of DTN Technology
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Non-space implementation prospects of this technology already include supporting rural schools in developing countries, zebra trafficking in Africa, water quality monitoring in Ireland, social networking in Scandinavia and monitoring Australiaís ongoing cane toad invasion.
Newer players in the advancement of this technology include the US Marine Corps using it for stressed tactical military communications and the US Navy to help submarines send and receive data upon encountering a relay buoy. One Swedish team is using DTN to track reindeer movements, and Intel is planning on harnessing the power of DTN to build networks in poor countries that have no communication grid to date.
At the end of the day however, DTN is a new technology that has received somewhat limited testing. While successful in a small run test scenario, there is a lot of work to be done before actual and more importantly, commercial implementation can begin. While the possible applications seem endless, much planning and resources need to be applied before itís anywhere near the scale of current Internet deploy.
We are not talking about astronauts watching missed episodes of Lost or playing video games, much less any form of instant messaging. At this time, NASA is concentrating solely on the ability of a spacecraft to communicate in some standard, network-based way, much like we already do here on Earth.
Fortunately, this technology is gaining momentum, especially after recent live testing and successful results, and we hope to see scattered commercial application of this new technology over the next couple years.
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