Over the past few decades, a significant interest in space exploration has emerged, driven by the lack of resources and the quest for answers to issues like climate change on Earth. New technologies have brought us closer to the possibility of exploring and mapping our solar system and its surroundings in greater detail. Alongside these new horizons, important challenges also emerge. Current methods of space communications operate with a notable lack of efficiency. The vast distances between celestial bodies within our solar system and Earth result in data transmission and reception that fall far short of real-time capabilities. Factors such as bandwidth asymmetry contribute to disruptions in the satellite communications network, e.g., intermittency of service. This paper proposes the development of an interplanetary satellite communication network, which is built upon a communications protocol featuring dynamic routing. This network architecture aims to optimize information transportation by adapting its communications algorithm to environment conditions as quickly as possible. The envisioned satellite infrastructure involves strategically placing satellites at key Lagrange points around each moon and planet within the asteroid belt. The elements within the infrastructure must be aware of their position in space through the integration of sensing capabilities and intelligent algorithms. Near each planet, a satellite with more capabilities will be tasked with gathering and transmitting the information from nanosatellites orbiting a planet, which will relay the respective signals back to our planet. This architecture will enable faster decision-making processes based on exploration data of the most significant celestial bodies within the asteroid belt, providing valuable insights such as constant monitoring of the dark side of the moon and difficult to reach zones in the Solar system.
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Intelligent Interplanetary Satellite Communication Network for The Exploration of Celestial Bodies
Published: 15 November 2023 by MDPI in 10th International Electronic Conference on Sensors and Applications session Sensor Networks, IoT and Structural Health Monitoring
https://doi.org/10.3390/ecsa-10-15999 (registering DOI)
Keywords: satellite infrastructure; communication network; celestial bodies exploration