macbroadcast´s blog

DTN – Delay Tolerant Networking on the mission to mars ?
December 15, 2011, 2:52 pm
Filed under: Decentralization, globalchange, linux, space | Tags: , , ,

After the launch of the curriosity mars exploration mission on Nov 26 2011, i was asking in the DTN interest list if these technology is used for the mars mission and i got some interesting responses.


From: Vint Cerf <>

Date: December 13, 2011 7:26:12 AM GMT+01:00

Subject: Re: [dtn-interest] Nasa mars exploration programm and DTN


it will be running the predecessor to the DTN’s Bundle Protocol, CFDP,

if I remember correctly.




and From a NASA emploeer

The following is all public knowledge.


The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) launched Nov 26, 2011.


MSL, like every NASA large project, had substantial cost overruns.  Any new technology is not likely to be included   until the primary mission completes.


I believe Vint is correct that CFDP is being used.  Most likely CFDP mode 2 (reliable transport).  I do not believe CFDP mode 3 or 4 is being used.  Others may know.  CFDP mode 4 is reliable multi hop file transfer with weigh points.  So it is analogous to DTN with only one route option (sting of pearls network).   CFDP mode 2 is reliable file transfer, but single hop.  So you sort of have to manually create a multi-hop store and forward environment.  Others at JPL would know better.  The current NASA future architecture documents support CFDP mode 2, but not mode 3 or 4.  DTN is preferred over CFDP mode 3 and 4 due to the flexibility (multi-path, multi-hop).

I’m not sure of the funding situation, but I think the next major Mars flight may be ” ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), sometimes referred to as Trace Gas Mission (TGM) by NASA, is a flexible collaborative proposal within NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) to send a new orbiter-carrier to Mars in 2016 as part of the European-led ExoMars mission.”


TGO may be the next Mars Relay.  Whether or not DTN would be onboard is TBD.  There may be nothing to relay.  Also, ESA is the prime on this mission.  The Space Science Decadal Surveys have basically indicated that any new Mars landing should include sample return or not be done.   In addition, there is a price limit that has been place on such a mission that basically makes it impossible to do within budget.  So, it is currently a NO GO  in the current funding environment.

Space = Politics.

Politics = Uncertainty


IMHO, the most likely early deployment of DTN is near-earth Low Earth Orbiting systems.  But you need to be able to handle multi-gigabyte files.



E-mail without Internet – smart student project
March 8, 2010, 4:58 am
Filed under: Decentralization, globalchange, ipv6, society | Tags: ,

Delay Tolerant network on Android Phones

Team Bytewalla, a group of international master students at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), developed an open source software for supporting Delay Tolerant Network (DTN) on Android phones. This software seamlessly integrates postfix mailing systems with the existing email systems, by which emails can be sent and received from remote places without Internet facility.

Bytewalla offers a solution with an affordable cost to the limited connectivity issue in rural areas without Internet infrastructure. The key idea is to allow people commuting between the city and villages without Internet infrastructure to carry data in their Android phones. After they arrive at the city or village, the data will be transmitted to the destination server.

The telecom operators in the rural areas can provide Delay Tolerant Network by using the Bytewalla application software. Hospitals, schools, companies, and individuals in rural areas will be able get the benefits of information technology by this service.

The Bytewalla software has a user friendly graphical user interface, which offers ordinary and technical users an advanced control.

For more information, you are welcome to attend the presentation 10 am on the 11th of January and watch the exhibition starting at 10 am on the 12th of January 2010, at Forum, KTH Kista Campus (Isafjordsgatan 39).

Bytewalla: Delay Tolerant Network on Android phones