JPL DESCANSO - Deep Space Communications and Navigation Center of Excellence

The InterPlanetary Internet: A new way of thinking about Deep Space communications

Presented by:
Scott Burleigh - Ed Greenberg - Adrian J. Hooke
Interplanetary Network and Information Systems Directorate
Jet Propulsion Laboratory


For most of the past thirty years, deep space communications and the terrestrial Internet have followed striking similar but totally separate evolutionary paths. In the early 1970s, while the DOD was developing the packet-switched "ARPANET" to facilitate the exchange of information among the government community, JPL led the development of new packetized telemetry and telecommand systems to enable more scientific data to be returned from space at lower costs. Over 25 years, the ARPANET eventually evolved from a research capability to today's Internet. Over the same period, the JPL concepts stimulated the formation of the international Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) and the consequent adoption of the Packet Telemetry and Packet Telecommand as the worldwide standards for space mission data exchange.

In 1974, Dr. Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn wrote the original concepts for TCP/IP, the fundamental protocol building blocks for today's Internet. Also in 1974, Ed Greenberg and Adrian Hooke at JPL wrote the original concepts for Packet Telemetry, the underpinning of CCSDS. In 1998, Vint Cerf was appointed as a JPL Distinguished Visiting Scientist. For the past three years, these terrestrial and deep space data communications experts have been working together with a small team to develop an architecture that defines how the terrestrial Internet may be extended into Deep Space - the "InterPlanetary Internet". This talk will review the new concepts and their implications for the expansion of human intelligence across the Solar System.


Scott Burleigh

Scott Burleigh has worked at JPL since 1986 on a wide variety of software development efforts. Those efforts include the VNESSA network service for near-real-time distribution of science data from Voyager's Neptune encounter in 1989, the prototyping and initial development of the Telemetry Delivery System of AMMOS, and design and implementation of the Tramel infrastructure for dynamically configured distributed software. Since 1996 his main interest has been the design of protocols for data communication in environments characterized by very high propagation latency, very low data rates, and other severe constraints. He is one of the co-designers of the CCSDS File Delivery Protocol (CFDP) and was the developer of the first CFDP implementation; he currently divides his time between the Interplanetary Internet Research Group and JPL's Sensor Webs project.

Ed Greenberg

Ed Greenberg received a B.E.E from the College of the City of New York in January 1961. That year he was part of a multi-company team at Itek Corporation that was exploring the feasibility of a computer graphics workstation. He came to JPL in January of 1962 to work as a flight computer designer. He was the primary designer of the Central Computer System (CC&S) for the Mariner series of spacecraft where he also was the lead software and sequence designer of the CC&S for Mariner 9 and 10 flight operations. It was in that role that he authored the Computer Sequence Development and Simulation Software which has been known at JPL as COMGEN and COMSIM. In 1970, he designed the Central computer for the Viking Orbiter Spacecraft which was later used for the Voyager series of missions. In 1973 his efforts lead to the establishment of the End-to-End Information Group within JPL from which he was deeply engaged with developing approaches for improved operations and the development of leading standards. In 1980, he and Adrian Hooke went to ESA to discuss the development of inter-agency cross support communications standards. This activity later became the CCSDS. He has been continually involved in the CCSDS for the past twenty years and has been a key technical contributor to the CCSDS standardization activities.

Adrian Hooke

Adrian Hooke received a B.Sc. (Honours) in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the University of Birmingham, England in 1965. He came to the USA in 1966 to work for Bendix and then Grumman on the Apollo 9,10, 11 and 12 Lunar Modules at the Kennedy Space Center. First joining JPL at the end of 1969, he was heavily involved with the in-flight command and control of the Mariner 9 and 10 missions to Mars, Venus and Mercury, definition of the Voyager onboard data system and design of the SEASAT end-to-end data system. In the mid 1970s he was a staff member of the European Space Agency, responsible for flight operations design for the SpaceLab program. Rejoining JPL in 1977, he was a key member of the End-to-End Information systems engineering thrust and a founder of the CCSDS. For the past twenty-five years he has led most of the key CCSDS standardization activities. He is currently a Principal in IPN-ISD. /p>

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