Feeds

'Bundle' signals from SPACE seize control of small car in Germany

ISS 'naut takes the wheel of Lego motor in bundlenet test

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

An internet hookup intended for interplanetary use has been used by an astronaut on the International Space Station to drive a small lego car located in a laboratory in Germany.

Station commander Sunita Williams was able to drive the car around the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt last month by sending out commands from the ISS using the "interplanetary internet" - NASA's experimental deep space comms channel based on their Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) protocol.

Astronaut Sunita Williams during Expedition 32 spacewalk

Sunita Williams on a spacewalk outside the ISS. Last month, she controlled a small lego car

The test is part of NASA and the European Space Agency's attempt to enable long-distance robot control over an internet-like protocol. And one of the ways that NASA and the ESA have decided to test out deep space internet is by doing it in reverse - using humans on the International Space Station and robots on earth. It's easier than sending the lego to Mars.

At the core of Disruption Tolerant Networking is the Bundle Protocol (BP) similar to the Internet Protocol, or IP, the basis of the Internet here on Earth.

Bundle Protocol is built to withstand both the long distances and time delays associated with communication through deep space, allowing for errors and disconnections — glitches that commonly plague long-distance comms.

Data moves through the BP network in a series of short hops, waiting at one node until the next link becomes available, NASA officials said.

Badri Younes, deputy associate administrator for space communications and navigation at NASA HQ, said that the comms channel used to control a lego car today, could be used to control robots on Mars in the future:

The experimental DTN we've tested from the space station may one day be used by humans on a spacecraft in orbit around Mars to operate robots on the surface, or from Earth using orbiting satellites as relay stations.

®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning
Lava-spitting Bárðarbunga prompts action from Met Office
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
Major cyber attack hits Norwegian oil industry
Statoil, the gas giant behind the Scandie social miracle, targeted
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?