Dear IPNSIG members,
As we approach the end of the calendar year, I see that our chapter has been extremely vigorous toward our vision of expanding networking to interplanetary space.
If you recall, in 2022, we became the first space chapter, namely the Interplanetary Chapter of the Internet Society, and our work including the ones in progress are being widely noticed in the global community.
As we reflect upon ourselves this year, we have witnessed the success of the Artemis1 mission which opened up a new era in space exploration. With the global momentum that is pushing our human boundaries farther into deep space, the need for a communication infrastructure continues to rise. The buildout of the Solar System Internet (SSI) has entered its prologue, and as the Interplanetary Chapter, we continue to seek a common network infrastructure that benefits humanity.
In line with our vision, I would like to share some highlights of our achievements in 2022.
● Architecture and Governance Working Group
The Architecture and Governance Working Group (AWG) was formed to assess the technical challenges in achieving a common network infrastructure and to explore the possible organizational structure that could support the development, governance and evolution of the SSI. The AWG aims to publicize a report next year for further discussion of our work with the broader international community, so stay tuned for more information.
● Strategy Working Group
We have shared the “Strategy toward the Solar System Internet for humanity” report in various forums, including the NASA DTNWG, IPNSIG Academy, Eurodig 2022, STINT WS and at the recent ISOC North America-Caribbean regional call. Our work is being widely noticed and we will continue to broaden our roadmap developments in the following year.
● Projects Working Group
The Projects Working Group has developed during the year a Global Network to test the Bundle Protocol Suite with the usage of DTN (Delay and Disruption tolerant networking) for the Interplanetary Internet. This network was deployed with volunteers from 15 countries and several other locations are interested in joining.
The PWG DTN network has received interest from Space Agencies, private companies and developers for testing and deploying their applications on the Interplanetary Internet. A technical laboratory for testing the DTN technologies on different hardware was developed by one of our PWG members. PWG members have also tested interoperability between different DTN implementations.
Several practical applications using DTN for communications have been developed and can be applied to Space travel and challenged environments on Earth as well, including mobile telephone messaging using DTN, reindeers tracking in the Arctic, environmental protection technologies in underground protected caves and medical records for space exploration.
In the area of base communications technology, the PWG members have developed technologies such as IPV6 for ION DTN, ION-DTN Lora-DTN (which is used in very challenged environments) interfaces allowing the development and expansion of this technology for real life applications. Software tools have also been developed for management and operation of the PWG network.
As a contribution to the public domain, several documents and open source software have been presented on the mentioned developments with the intention of facilitating the expansion of the DTN technologies for public usage. Public presentations have been performed about our work including presentations and collaboration with Space agencies like NASA, and private companies that are interested in Space travel, and plan to incorporate the DTN technologies to their deployments.
You can review several videos about the various conferences in the PWG blog at http://pwg.ipnsig.space
For next year 2023, the PWG plans to expand our network to Space as an immediate project.
● Technical Documentation Working Group
The Technical Documentation Working Group works quietly, behind the scenes, to collect and organize published documents that can help the student or researcher or interested fan learn more about interplanetary networking.
At this time, the IPNSIG Zotero Library – implemented using Zotero software and backed up each month – comprises nearly 300 items, including all IPNSIG Academy talks; all items are tagged with keywords, linked, and filed in virtual folders. In 2023 we will move the library to a new website and we will also be reviewing all of the IPNSIG Academy chat-rooms records, looking for citations of additional resources that need to be in the library.
● Outreach Working Group
IPNSIG Outreach Working Group has revitalized itself with a small core team of dynamic members: Laura Chappell, Ginny Spicer and Henry Danielsen. They are already making significant headway.
Laura Chappell has developed a forms-based tracking system, using SmartSheet to automate most of the processes necessary to plan, organize and execute IPNSIG Academy Webinars. Thanks, Laura!
Ginny Spicer has identified a simpler web development platform for ipnsig.org, that will greatly simplify things for content creators. A real bonus is that this platform has far superior email capabilities compared to our current hosting solution. Ginny will be presenting the new website she has developed for ipnsig.org to the Board in January.
Finally, Henry Danielsen has volunteered to develop remote learning content for IPNSIG Academy, providing direct engagement with educators and students, teaching them the basics of DTN.
We are really excited to have these great folks on board, and are looking forward to what they will accomplish in 2023.
● IPNSIG Academy
IPNSIG launched its IPNSIG Academy events in May of 2022. We have met our goal of producing a webinar each month – a total of eight webinars in 2022. Attendance has been good, with a lot of questions during the Q&A session following each presentation. We have also had a lot of views of our video recordings. You can access the video recordings and presentation materials by using the IPNSIG Zotero library, as mentioned above, or you can check out the IPNSIG Academy Events page on our website. The table there lists past and future IPNSIG Academy webinars, with links to video recordings and presentation materials as they become available.
Bigger and better things are planned for IPNSIG Academy in 2023! Not only are we lining up some really great speakers, but we also want to expand IPNSIG Academy to more directly engage the educational community. More details about that in a future newsletter!
Lastly, I wish everyone a very merry holiday season and all the best for the New Year.