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DoD to Put Internet Router in Space 188

Posted by Zonk
from the interspace-spacenet-space-o-tron-intertrucks-in-space dept.
narramissic writes "ITworld is reporting that the Department of Defense plans to launch in the first quarter of 2009 a satellite-based router to deliver military communications. Satellite operator Intelsat will manage the three-year Internet Routing In Space (IRIS) project, while Cisco will provide IP networking software for the on-board router. After testing, the satellite will be available for commercial use. From the article: 'Potential nonmilitary benefits of the IRIS program include the ability to route IP (Internet Protocol) traffic between satellites in space in much the same way packets are moved on the ground, reducing delays, saving on capacity and offering greater networking flexibility, Lloyd Wood, space initiatives manager in the Global Defense, Space & Security division of Cisco, said Thursday.'"
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DoD to Put Internet Router in Space

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  • by andy314159pi (787550) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @02:34PM (#18705929) Journal

    DoD to Put Internet Router in Space
    It seems like they are always misplacing shit.
  • Well, the Army is getting routed in Iraq, might as well get a head start on getting routed in space as well.
    • A bunch of soldiers were hoping to be on the next packet back to the USA but they got a "no route to host, try again in 3 months" error message [news.com.au].

      Yes I know it's off-topic but laugh, it's funny.
  • Security. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "From the article: 'Potential nonmilitary benefits of the IRIS program include the ability to route IP (Internet Protocol) traffic between satellites in space in much the same way packets are moved on the ground, reducing delays, saving on capacity and offering greater networking flexibility, Lloyd Wood, space initiatives manager in the Global Defense, Space & Security division of Cisco, said Thursday.'"

    You forgot greater security.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by scruffy (29773)
      WEP or WPA?
    • by tygt (792974)

      reducing delays

      Really!

      Wow. Last satellite internet service I had had astounding delays.

      Of course, that was with a geosync satellite, and without RTFA I can guess they're planning on using sats which are considerably closer than this, but if they're really close then they'll zooming around too fast I'd image that could cause trouble with their OSPF or BGP....

      • Wow. Last satellite internet service I had had astounding delays.

        Well, yeah. You were, I presume, on the ground. Chances are, so were the computers with which you were ultimately trying to connect. That's often going to give you a big delay going through a satellite compared to going through ground-based routers exclusively.

        They are talking about reducing delays for IP traffic between other satellites compared to going through ground-based routers, which is a pretty different scenario.

      • Distance from Earth's surface to a geosync satellite directly overhead is about 35,000 km, giving a round trip distance of 70,000 km. Presumably you were talking to the satellite via some sort of electromagnetic radiation, which travels about 300,000,000 km/s. So, the total round trip time is less than 0.3 milliseconds. Even if the satellite were close to the horizon rather than overhead, this won't increase by all that much.

        The bare fact that you are talking to a satellite is not enough to incur notic
        • by tygt (792974)
          Sort of yes, sort of no.... data would stream just fine, but interactive traffic was attrocious.

          I think you forgot what a "round-trip" is - it's not just up to the satellite and back; a packet round-trip has to make that trip *twice*.

          Consider a ping, which is what typing on a telnet/ssh type link requires; assuming optimal packet transfer (one each way), we get earth-sat-earth-sat-earth, so four transitions. Even if we ignore the fact that I wasn't directly under the satellite (I'm at 39N, and about 11

          • Crap. I made a rather stupid mistake: 70000km / 3e8 (m/s) != 0.0002333s. I divided km/m and got 1 instead of 1000. So yes, satellite distance would contribute on the order of hundreds of milliseconds to ping time, rather than tenths of milliseconds as I originally said. Hundreds of milliseconds to ping time is significant for sure. I suspect I would notice a 700ms delay.

            My apologies.
            • by tygt (792974)
              It's easy to forget that the Moon is more than one light-second away from us. I mean, it's just *there* so we think it's so close, or really, just don't think much about it.
  • Someone HAS to have put a router in space before. Not for this particular application mind you, but I'd be shocked if no packet ever got routed while in space.

    Now, who will be the first company to admit they got pwnd in space?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BadERA (107121)
      They have, I don't think the article is saying this will be the first IP router in space. In fact, Cisco just carried out the first IPv6 routing in space the other day ...
    • by brunascle (994197) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @02:58PM (#18706381)
      years ago (around 1999) my family got to be a tester for a new (potential) satellite ISP. they gave us a free PC, stuck a satellite dish in the ground, and said "have fun."

      it sucked. it wasnt reliable at all, and it was very slow. it was the same for everyone else. jackasses never removed the satellite dish either. i heard about one guy who took an axe to his just to get the damn thing out.
    • I remember the release notes for Solaris 2.6, back in, what, the late '90s, mentioning changes made to the TCP/IP stack to improve performance when dealing with satellites.

    • by john82 (68332)
      Someone HAS to have put a router in space before...

      They did. It's called Iridium [wikipedia.org]. To date, the only system of its kind.
  • hmmmm..... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by teeloo (766817)
    Can't wait til the hackers of the world try to hack into that one. I wonder what laws would apply? Are there any "space" laws per se?
    • by IgLou (732042)
      I'm still waiting for email spam to make it's way into space. Then in a deep voice I plan to say "SPACE SPAM!"

      More serious note, space is a "territory" of sorts... still the ownership (and who's laws will prevail) of that territory will depend on who can assert their "control" over that territory. So that will most likely be some corporation. :P

      Which leads to an obligatory:
      I for one welcome our new SPACE IBM overlords!
    • by guruevi (827432)
      There is a convention that space doesn't belong to a certain country and that they won't put WMD's or other weapons in space. Again, this is just a convention/treaty, something that the USGov isn't really keen or good at applying.
  • Stats?? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by otacon (445694) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @02:43PM (#18706101)
    What kind of bandwidth are we talking here? but I guess the better question is what routing protocol is it going to use, EIGRP? OSPF? BGP?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by robpoe (578975)
      S.P.A.C.E.

      Statically
      Practical
      Application
      (for)
      Countering
      Extra-Terrestrials
  • traceroute (Score:2, Funny)

    by chris_mahan (256577)
    traceroute is going to be more interesting.
    • spaceroute!!!
  • Really, Drink or Die is putting a router in space? Is this part of some off-planet hosting scheme?
  • ... doesn't matter if the routers are milspec or not. Speed of light is speed of light.
    • Yes, but that's irrelevant.

      The article didn't say it was going to be in geostationary orbit. Don't assume that just because a geostationary satellite internet satellite has 650ms pings that all satellites will.

      A satellite could orbit as low as 100 miles. The latency could be a few ms.
      • As one satellite pings the router that's passing below in a different orbit:

        geostat1# ping spacerouter1
        Pinging spacerouter1 [300.300.300.300] with 128 bytes of data:

        Reply from 300.300.300.300: bytes=128 time1ms TTL=128
        Reply from 300.300.300.300: bytes=128 time 100ms TTL=128
        Reply from 300.300.300.300: bytes=128 time 700 TTL=128
        Request timed out. ...
        Request timed out.
        Reply from 300.300.300.300: bytes=128 time 700 TTL=128
        Reply from 300.300.300.300: bytes=128 time 100ms TTL=128
        Reply from 300.300.300.300: bytes=
    • c is not the important speed here. Actually, the speed of the radio signals that go from and to the satellite. I think running fiber to the satellite would be pretty hard, and optic comunication using lasers is a bit far away, specially since the satellite is not still, and neither is the earth.
      Off course, if we take into account that all the "speeds" we may measure are eventually determined by the value of c, your comment would be correct.
      • by LWATCDR (28044)
        Radio is light or light is radio. Radio is just a different "color" of light same as X-Rays.
        • That's why i said that eventually the value of c determines this speed in a way. X-rays, visible light, radio signals, microwave are all electromagnetic radiations, they work on the same principle, but their wavelengths differ, so, when we are talking about latency in communications, they are for our purpose completely different things.
          • by LWATCDR (28044)
            No it will make no difference in latency. It would make a difference in bandwidth. If you could modulate X-Ray easily then you could really send some data.
  • Oy, vey... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @02:47PM (#18706167) Journal
    Wouldn't want to try and play any decent FPS on that puppy... the lag has GOT to be horrible.

    Speaking of which, how DO they manage "realtime" data on that w/o the lag? It wouldn't exactly be true realtime if ~250ms delay keeps chucking in there. While that may be no biggie now, I can see where that would/could be a factor as real battlefields become just as data-dependant as the game ones. (cue lots of "haha, you got pwned by the Chinese!" jokes here, but seriously... I wonder how they're going to eventually get around that; the physics would be gnarly at best...)

    /P

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by torqer (538711)
      Lag is exactly the reason why they want to put the satellite there. It will route traffic between satellites in space, without need for the lag of travelling to terrestial router and then return to space.
    • by davidwr (791652) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @02:58PM (#18706393) Homepage Journal
      TFA said the existing system involves

      source - satellite#1 - ground-based router - satellite#2 - destination

      The new system will be
      source - satellite #1 - space router - satellite #2 - destination

      or even better

      source - space router - destination

      Depending on where the satellite is, you may have just shaved a few tenths of a second off the one-way trip.
    • Re:Oy, vey... (Score:5, Informative)

      by arthurpaliden (939626) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @03:00PM (#18706431)
      Realtime means predictable delay not no delay.
      • Fair enough. For a number of years I've had to work with a client who uses Direcway, and let me tell you, latency is ridiculous when you're using satellites in geosync orbit. While I think this is a step in the right direction, some sort of protocol is going to need to be bolted on to TCP/IP when it's used in space so physical distance is taken into account more then logical network difference (every mile counts when you're talking 200,000+ miles via space, fiber etc. end to end).
    • I look forward to getting spam from "Dr_Reginald_Mumbutu@keyhole12.sat.mil"
    • by tktk (540564)
      Speaking of which, how DO they manage "realtime" data on that w/o the lag? It wouldn't exactly be true realtime if ~250ms delay keeps chucking in there.

      Easy, they just add +250ms.

    • Easy.

      Subspace.

      Next!
  • by mapmaker (140036) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @02:54PM (#18706319)
    Piiiiinnngs iiiiiin Spaaaaaaace!
  • by 8127972 (73495) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @02:56PM (#18706353)
    .... the SSID will be Linksys right?
  • by robpoe (578975)
    That will be great, until some script kiddy decides to pwnz0r the sat link ...
  • So how are they going to build a series of tubes in space?
  • Nobody? OK (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @03:08PM (#18706567) Homepage Journal
    I guess I'll have to step up and take one for the team.

    In Soviet Russia, router launches you!
  • by Evil W1zard (832703) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @03:08PM (#18706579) Journal
    DOD To Boldy Route Where No Man Has Routed Before.... These are the voyages of the Star switch Cisco...
  • by Eric Damron (553630) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @03:09PM (#18706589)
    Is it just me or does anyone else think that putting a satellite into space that will route critical information for our Defense Department is a bad idea after China made clear it is working on satellite killer technology?
    • by Bluesman (104513)
      That's right, because we all know the Internet itself is vulnerable to this kind of physical attack, so putting it in space is just silly!

      Oh wait.

  • log-in? (Score:3, Funny)

    by ElephanTS (624421) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @03:18PM (#18706743)
    Anyone want to take a bet they leave the default security settings on so you can hack in using the admin/password combo?

    Works for my neighbor!

  • We're with the government. We're here to help.

    *shivers*

    Anybody else's tinfoil hats giving you that tingling-feeling right about now?
    • by sethstorm (512897) *
      We're with the government. We're here to help.
      Reagan's declaration for businesses go open season on workers(due to misreading of PATCO) changes the scariest words in the English language to:
      We're with the corporate interest. We're here to help.
      Given the turn of many a business from ethical conduct and the gutting of many worker protections, the government now reflects who has the most money and influence.
  • But this is nothing. This would be news if they had put an Internet Router ... in space!!! [slashdot.org] Oh, wait...!
  • by cashman73 (855518) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @04:17PM (#18707789) Journal
    . . . it's a Network Operations Center !
  • by Kelz (611260)
    *log on to military PC/open browser*
    //192.168.1.1
    User: Administrator
    Pass: [blank]
  • satellite internet? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rebootconrad (836537)
    Maybe I'm being dense... but don't satellite internet providers route packets through space all day long?
  • I wonder how much they'll be paying Cisco for a 4 hour response advance replacement warranty on that baby...
  • 'Nuff said. :)
  • how are you going to stop the Chinese from blowing the damn thing into a shmazillion pieces with a laser? I'd hate to get a HTTP 404 in the middle of a battlefield. It would be an absolute killer of a moment.

  • PEHG and PEHB are both ethernet TCP/IP routers. Payload Ethernet Hub Gateway and Payload Ethernet Hub Bridge.
  • by upside (574799) on Friday April 13, 2007 @04:31AM (#18715549) Journal
    to "star topology".
  • ...email home.
  • The Tamil Tigers [slashdot.org] are going to love this...

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