Monday, December 6, 2010

Cisco Internet Router in Space Completes Update

Cisco completed the first-ever
software upgrade of an IP router aboard a commercial satellite while in orbit.
The IOS software upgrade involved the Cisco 18400 Space Router, a radiation-tolerant IP router, on-board Intelsat 14, a geostationary communications satellite. The capability to upgrade the software of the Cisco router and onboard modem from the ground increases the flexibility of the system to implement future capabilities and the lifespan of the communications system.

Cisco recently teamed up with Astrium to study the applications of space-based routers. In October, Cisco and Astrium successfully demonstrated IRIS services such as multicasting, which enables the delivery of information to a group of destination computers simultaneously in a single transmission.

In addition, Cisco completed the industry's first VoIP call made without the use of any terrestrial infrastructure to route the call. The call was completed using Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express.

  • In January 2010, Cisco announced the first successful in-orbit test of its Internet Routing in Space (IRIS) technology. The test was conducted on-board Intelsat's new IS-14 GEO satellite, which was launched on Nov. 23, 2009

    Cisco IRIS is a program to build a radiation-tolerant IP router for satellite and related spacecraft. The IRIS payload will support network services for voice, video and data communications, helping enable government agencies, military units and allied forces to communicate with one another using Internet Protocol and existing ground equipment.

    The company noted that IRIS can route data to multiple ground receivers in a single step, eliminating the need to double-hop to a teleport and therefore reducing latency and increasing transponder utilization. The software on the Cisco router and onboard modem can be upgraded in orbit, which increases flexibility.

    The IRIS program is a Department of Defense Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) managed by Cisco and Intelsat General Corp. The IRIS payload will convert to commercial use following the three-month JCTD ending in April 2010.

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