NetAdmin challenge: Go to Mars, connect a rover, orbiter and three bases

Research org releases VM to let you simulate it, plus other interplanetary networks

The Mitre Corporation has given network administrators something to chew on, in the form of a simulator that lets them build networks in space.

Mitre is a not-for-profit organisation that administers some of the United States' Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, public-private partnerships that conduct research for the US government. MITRE’s Technology Transfer Office releases some of the resulting work into the public domain, such as this 1.7GB Ubuntu .ISO that bundles the Common Open Research Emulator with version 3.5.0 of the Interplanetary Overlay Network and the Disruption Tolerant Networking Development Kit

That collection of code offers three challenges:

  • Hooking up to a satellite that moves in and out of radio range and therefore drops off the network from time to time;
  • A Martian scenario in which you're asked to connect three ground stations, a rover, and an orbiter;
  • An Earth-observing satellite scenario with multiple ground stations.

The .ISO's availability was pointed out by the InterPlanetary Networking Special Interest Group, which aims to extend the internet beyond Earth. Doing so presents lots of challenges, among them latency, nodes like satellites that change routes and lots of radiation.

The organisation's announcement post explains the scenarios mentioned above in a little more detail and offers log-on credentials for the simulator. If you play with it, let us know how you go! ®

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