In 2009, the U.S. Department of Defense hopes to launch a satellite carrying an Internet router into space. Internet Routing in Space will allow U.S. ground troops to have voice, data and video communications while carrying out missions. Over the next three years two companies will work together on the project: Cisco will build the routers and Intelsat General will manage the equipment. The satellite will be located in geostationary orbit at 45 degrees west longitude, offering coverage for Europe, the Americas and Africa.
The project will interconnect two Ku-band and one C-band coverage areas. Two key highlights behind the technology are flexible IP packet routing and multicast distribution that can be adjusted on demand. Routers in orbit could one day allow direct communication between satellites, instead of having data travel through ground stations. Direct IP routing could take place with multiple satellites, meaning routing via ground-based teleports would no longer be required if the project is successful. "Iris is to the future of satellite-based communications what Arpanet was to the creation of the Internet in the 1960s," said Intelsat's Don Brown.
News source: DailyTech