Aboard the International space station has equipment that will allow you to send and receive signals from the orbits and surfaces of planets or comets without delay and interference. New telecommunications network called Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) and soon is expected to be able to cover a large portion of our space “neighborhood”.
The network will help to cope with unreliable communication in space because, for various reasons, often there are delays and gaps. The quality of communication is affected by radiation, power surges, interference and many other factors, so the appearance of such a network will allow to cope with the various difficulties that arise in the transmission of information.
For transmitting information the traditional way through the regular Internet, it is essential that all nodes in the transmission path was available all the time, until the last receive data. DTN works in a different way. You can now forward packets of data parts, which can be transferred and automatically saved in the nodes along the path of data transmission, until, until you have collected all the necessary pieces. Once received, they will be assembled together or can be overwritten by the data sent completely when re-transmission.
NASA is thinking about other possibilities of the new system. For instance, discusses the possibility of using DTN for mobile communications on the Ground — a network can be useful in those places where the communication quality is not very good or at all.