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Space Data Routers

Lead investigator: Dr Bogdan V Ghita
Other researchers: Dr Nathan L Clarke, Prof. Steven M Furnell
Project duration: 2011 - 2014
Funding source: EU FP7
Project description: Currently, Space-Data exploitation faces two major obstacles: Firstly, Space Centers and Academic Institutions have limited access to scientific data since their limited connectivity time via satellites directly confines their scientific capacity. Secondly, Space-Data Collection Centers, such as ESOC, for instance, lack sufficient mechanisms for communicating with interested end-users let alone the lack of mechanisms for data dissemination. The result is frequently quite disappointing:Space data remains stored and unexploited, until it becomes obsolete or useless and consequently is being removed. In the context of Space-Data exploitation, the situation is expected with certainty to worsen: Space data volume will increase (consider the upcoming use of Sentinel, for example) but the mechanisms for disseminating and exploiting data are not yet in place. Therefore, a proposal to exploit and disseminate space data should not be considered as a peripheral issue but rather as an urgently-missing mechanism from the European Infrastructure. Along these lines, the ultimate goal of “Space-Data Routers” is to boost collaboration and competitiveness of European Space Agency, European Space Industry and European Academic Institutions towards an efficient architecture for exploiting space data. The proposed approach relies on space internetworking – and in particular in Delay-Tolerant Networking (DTN), which marks the new era in space communications, unifies space and earth communication infrastructures and delivers a set of tools and protocols for space-data exploitation within a single device.