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Communications Mars Networking Space

Mars One Studying How To Maintain Communications With Mars 24/7 143

Posted by timothy
from the oh-such-unmitigated-cheek dept.
braindrainbahrain writes "Mars One, the low-credibility effort to colonize Mars, is at least funding some interesting concept studies for their alleged plan to colonize the red planet. One of the most interesting is the effort to maintain uninterrupted communications with Mars. This is not as trivial as it may sound, as any satellite in Martian orbit will still have to deal with occultations between Mars and Earth due to the Sun. Surrey Satellite Technology will be performing the study."
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Mars One Studying How To Maintain Communications With Mars 24/7

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  • Trivial (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) *

    This is not as trivial as it may sound...

    Really? from...

    the low-credibility effort to colonize Mars...

    Yes frome these people, it *is* "trivial".

    Seriously, let's not waste money and time with these people when there are serious scientists that are not getting the support they need for serious research.

  • by ganjadude (952775)
    FTFS

    "Mars One , the low-credibility effort to colonize Mars, is at least funding some interesting concept studies for their alleged plan to colonize the red planet /quote Someone seems to not have much faith

  • by myowntrueself (607117) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @12:50AM (#45924177)

    Send one twin to mars, the other twin stays on Earth. They telepathically communicate. Oh wait, wrong novel?

  • ...that the NSA is in charge of the communications. National Space Administration?
  • idiocracy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Can anyone think of a more credible or likely way to fund a trip to mars? It's not public funding..if putting fucking honey boo boo on Mars it's what gets the effort funded I'm ok with that. How else do you get the citizens of idiocracy to fund the effort?

    • if putting fucking honey boo boo on Mars it's what gets the effort funded I'm ok with that.

      I think most people would have no problem sending them to Mars. It's already a one way trip, so that's a win-win.

      • if putting fucking honey boo boo on Mars it's what gets the effort funded I'm ok with that.

        I think most people would have no problem sending them to Mars. It's already a one way trip, so that's a win-win.

        I think most people would like to see Honey Boo-Boo launched AT the Sun, not put in orbit around it.

    • by gweihir (88907)

      Why would you want an utterly idiotic venture to get funding in the first place?

    • It's the opposite of idiocracy. You see, we gave the finger to Darwin a long time ago with our medical science... Mars is a hostile and unforgiving environment. Ship a constant stream of idiots there and only the strong and less stupid survive... Radioactive resistant ones survive longer. Mars One has a chance to rekindle evolution. We'll waste a bunch of life burrowing into the ground, but that's the best place to avoid cosmic rays, and after that it wouldn't even necessarily have to be a death senten

    • by Chelloveck (14643)
      I will personally contribute a vast sum to send Honey Boo Boo on a one-way trip to Mars -- on the condition that communication is *not* part of the package.
    • by ultranova (717540)

      How else do you get the citizens of idiocracy to fund the effort?

      Come up with a good enough argument for why they should fund it.

      Of course, that would require thinking them as rational human beings rather than idiots. This, in turn, would require some amount of control over your own mind and attitude. Since you post as an AC, I presume you're already aware of having a problem, so now all you need to do is take conscious control over your personal development and steer it towards being less of an arrogant p

  • by Quinn_Inuit (760445) <Quinn_Inuit@yEIN ... minus physicist> on Saturday January 11, 2014 @01:25AM (#45924311)
    Just throw a few communication satellites in the Earth-Sun L3 and L4/L5 (or both, for redundancy) points and finish developing that interplanetary internet protocol for them, then call it a day. This really should be trivial with existing tech, once the protocol is finished and if someone wants to fund the rocket launches. Seriously, if we can do the STEREO mission, we can do this.
    • by mbone (558574)

      L3 won't help you (neither will L1 or L2). L4 and L5 would. The big thing here is the cost. This is like a 1.3% tax on all Mars missions, which to date NASA has seen as cheaper than putting in relay satellites.

      • I was thinking that, if you put satellites in all three of those (obviously not L1 and L2), you would have a redundant group (including Earth itself) that would have direct line-of-sight at all times to pretty much everything in the solar system.
    • by AK Marc (707885)
      I was thinking Jupiter's L1 for the redundant position. Should be able to see the Earth and Mars from there almost all the time.
      • aren't there a bunch of gravitational anomalies in Jupiter's Lagrange points? Asteroids I believe they were called.
        • by AK Marc (707885)
          I've not been to check. When I go on Expedia to book, the flights are always full.
  • Every 780 days (Score:5, Informative)

    by mbone (558574) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @01:29AM (#45924327)

    Once per synodic period (779.94 days) you will lose 10 days or so during superior conjunction, or ~ 1.3% of the time. NASA gives its spaceships at Mars a vacation (for the rovers, generally a long integration X ray spectrum of some rock). If Mars One really worries losing contact even for that little, they can either build a cycler, or put a relay somewhere else (say, orbiting Venus).

    • Once per synodic period (779.94 days) you will lose 10 days or so during superior conjunction, or ~ 1.3% of the time. NASA gives its spaceships at Mars a vacation (for the rovers, generally a long integration X ray spectrum of some rock).

      So that's what they're doing when they're analysing a rock "really well" http://xkcd.com/695/ [xkcd.com]

  • Mars is one place which scientist still searching for lives. hope one day they got success and reveal surprising to us.
  • Run the whole thing from a abandoned United States Army Air Corps desert base [wikipedia.org] and 24/7 communications won't be a problem.

  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @01:39AM (#45924387)
    So if we do manage to send the ship with all of the bureaucrats and hair stylists and telephone sanitizers to Mars, what is the point of trying to maintain communications 24/7? After all, pretty much anything that you do without science fiction technology is going to have a round trip delay of up to 1/2 hour or so at some times. The "colony" has to be pretty damn independent. I don't see any real need to convince yourself that you have 24/7 communications with delays like they would experience. Even daily communication would need some sort of relay when the sun gets in the way, but trying for 24/7 is overkill and pointless.
    • The point is that more telephone sanitizers and middle managers will be born here, and we need funds and fame to get them to keep getting on the B-ships. 24/7/355 isn't quite buzzword compliant. Also, tensions may run high -- blackouts are key times for mutiny. You know, sort of like on Skylab? [vice.com] On a different planet it could be far worse, "And the cameras are coming back online folks -- OMFG! WTF?! Managers are caught in the middle of a hostile take over! Audio is out: Not a single phone is sanitized

      • by DriveDog (822962)
        Not to mention that if you're an alien hostile to Sol's children, intent on attacking an Earthling outpost, you'd do it during the blackout. Post-blackout, we'd only know that the colony no longer transmits anything, not why.
    • by marga (455344)

      The whole point of Mars One is to be funded by broadcasting 24/7. If there are 10 days of disconnections (as some other post says, I don't know the details), there are 10 days of loss in advertisement.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why do we not have relay communications equipment at lagrange points L4 and L5? Am I missing something here, even if we aren't talking about this study?

    What? No need? How about we create a need!

    • Because we don't have that many things to relay to. It's not worth launching a whole new comsat - and an expensive one too, given the power needs and extra delta-V to make earth escape - up there just to avoid the occasional week or so of interrupted communication to robotic missions. More practical to just put the rovers into a holding state and wait for the signal to come back.

  • Shouldn't they be using Martian units? I know a Martian Day is a bit longer than 24 hrs, not sure about their weeks

    • by jonbryce (703250)

      The week is an arbitrary unit that has nothing to do with rotation or orbit of the sun or the moon. Different communities have had different week lengths throughout history.

  • Essentially you could do it with two, but 4 gives you the redundancy needed. Start by putting a satelite in orbit around the sun on Earth's orbit, but leading by 120 degrees. A second trailing by 120 degrees. At all times you'll have at least one unobstructed LOS path to Mars, and most of the time 3. That said, the distance is enough that it would be a good idea to double the possible paths. Put two more satelites up in orbit of the sun, on Mars orbit, one leading by 120 degrees, one trailing by 120 degrees

    • Latency is high enough, in any of these paths that you will not be using IP. DECnet protocol would be sufficient. Worst case path from Mars to MarsT1/2, to Earth in opposition to Mars would be on the close order of 600 million kilometers one way, 1,200 million kilometers round trip. Divide that by 300,000 km and we get a round trip light speed time of roughly 4000 seconds, or a little over an hour and 6 min., not including signal regeneration time.

      Heh! I'm just imagining Martian colonists using UUCP. I'd lo

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Thankfully, these days we have maps and won't have to bang our way to mars. UUCP wouldn't be a satisfactory solution, however, because it's designed to get instant confirmation of delivery before retiring a job from the queue. What is needed is a new daemon that sends messages via UDP with high redundancy and keeps trying to deliver as time slots become available until receipt is reported.

        • by rusty0101 (565565)

          Actually, the problem with IP is the TTL and Timeouts that are configured. a ttl of 255 seconds is built into IP, (and any protocol riding on IP like UDP) which means that the packet is considered dead after 255 seconds (or the combination of x seconds and y hops adding up to 255.) Switching to IPv6 does not help, as the only significant change to the field is the name, where it changed from Time To Live to Hop Limit. It is still an 8 bit field, meaning it is a maximum of 255. If the protocol when switching

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            Actually, the problem with IP is the TTL and Timeouts that are configured. a ttl of 255 seconds is built into IP, (and any protocol riding on IP like UDP) which means that the packet is considered dead after 255 seconds (or the combination of x seconds and y hops adding up to 255.)

            That's a matter of convention, and it's up to the receiver to decide whether to discard a packet or not. Nothing prevents a gateway from jiggering those numbers, either.

    • by pla (258480)
      Essentially you could do it with two, but 4 gives you the redundancy needed.

      I'll see your two, and raise you to "one".

      A single satellite just a few million miles above (or below) the orbital plane of our solar system will always have line-of-sight to both Earth and Mars (and also to Jupiter and Venus, as a bonus). Even our own relatively huge moon won't occlude that.

      Of course, "uninterrupted" has problems other than actual occlusion by a planet/sun/moon. CMEs could always knock out communications n
      • by rusty0101 (565565)

        Yes, to some degree a single satelite solution would be possible. It would work best as a solution for mars if it were to orbit the sun perpendicular to the earth-moon line at opposition, with an eliptical orbit with a period such that at opposition, the satelite would be either as far north of the sun as the orbit would allow, or as far south.

        I would still argue for relays at L4 and L5, but then there are more than a few people interested in setting up stations there anyway. Possibly easier to establish wo

  • After opening the Mars One web site, why do I get the feeling that their concept artist is oddly familiar with trailer parks?
  • A TV test pattern, a radio, or an old landline touchtone phone. Problem solved.

  • How hard is it to maintain a fiber to the fake Mars base in the Atamaca desert?
  • Its not difficult to maintain constant connection, add few satellites in good spots in space to bounce signal throw.. Its bandwidth issue. They want to make reality tv out of this so that's going to take some massive bandwidth between two planets. Video streaming down on earth is sometimes difficult all ready.. Add significant distance between planets that's constantly changing and you have problems...
  • ... in orbit around L4/L5 of Mars. Problem solved.
    • Look at what the DD-WRT project's mesh applications have done and apply the SAME process models to the aging sat fleet. In one evaluation- much of the older and getting old sat fleet is comparable to a WRT54. In orbit, already ripe for rework. The correct Solvings are in CONCEPTS rather than specifications. Heavily redundant meshes can neatly handle "Latency Ignored" traffic. The "How to" I propose for affordable builds has an amusingly quaint approach. Recycling! Re-assign existing satellites to tur
  • Sham or not, the studies Mars One must engage in to at least look credible do represent real science. Whether or not they plan on actually getting people to Mars (I'm betting not) the ideas they are forced to approach could potentially serve as real foundation and R&D time saver for actually getting there someday.
  • The major obstacle is initial funding. Here's the link to the indiegogo campaign [indiegogo.com]. Right now it's at something like $150k of $400k. Once they successfully land something on Mars, demonstrate they can manufacture water, oxygen and plenty of electricity on Mars, they will be taken a lot more serious. Until then, it's just the odd one out that's putting their money where there dreams are.
    • For perspective- look at funding for politically forged wars. If we gave that money to 50-50 Governmental and NGO Space groups? Damn- we could have Colonies before the ISS refunding expires. Call it funding the Colonies with a Peace Dividend? A real&viable Deep Space Mesh is a SPECIES Infrastructure investment. The initial Mars Colony using it is just one early adopter:> In case I was not bluntly unsubtle enough- Homo Rarely Sapient likely is spending more on wars and similar anti-humanity venture

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