A Direct-to-ground Architecture for Supporting Commercial Communications from the International Space Station
Nguyen, Alex T
We outline the first steps of an effort to start defining a communications architecture for supporting broadband data communications from the International Space Station. We address three communications options and focus on a direct-to-ground architecture, which could serve as an intermediary solution to satisfy near-term communications needs of commercial experiments and payloads on the ISS and overcome certain limitations of the current ISS communications infrastructure. A high-level analysis of the architecture for the direct to ground option is performed, focusing on a particular user’s requirements, communications links, and coverage availability. We also discuss system, mobility support and protocol issues that need to be addressed for this solution to be a feasible alternative.