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A New Network Design for the “Internet from Space”

  • Magazine Article
  • 20AERP02_06
Published 2020-02-01 by SAE International in United States
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  • English

Satellites do not yet play a major role in the world's Internet infrastructure; however, this may soon change. Within the next decade, a new generation of satellites could lay the foundations for an “Internet from space,” according to Ankit Singla, a professor at ETH Zurich's Network Design & Architecture Lab. His team is investigating how to improve the performance of large-scale computer networks including the Internet.

Exploiting advances in cost-cutting technologies in the space sector, the new satellite systems would use thousands of satellites instead of the tens of satellites used in past systems. These satellites could then be linked to each other via laser light to form a network. The coverage provided by these satellites would reach remote regions that currently have no or very limited access to the Internet, since they are not connected or are only poorly connected to the intercontinental fiber optic cables that power today's Internet.