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An Inter Planetary Network Enabled by SmallSats

Show simple item record Velazco, Jose E 2021-10-26T16:12:58Z 2021-10-26T16:12:58Z 2020-03-07
dc.identifier.citation 2020 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, Montana, March 7-14, 2020
dc.identifier.clearanceno CL#20-0063
dc.description.abstract This paper describes the implementation of an unparalleled large sensor and communications platform along the solar system that we call the inter planetary network (IPN). The proposed IPN consists of thousands of small spacecraft (e.g. CubeSats) strategically deployed around planetary bodies in the solar system where each spacecraft is furnished with fast communications and sensor systems. The IPN concept is being proposed as an avant-garde science and communications platform that could allow for continuous fast communications and remarkable science returns. The IPN spacecraft, furnished with suitable miniaturized sensors, could form an amazing deep space platform for unique observation of the solar system, stars, galaxies and universe. A key feature of the IPN architecture is the use of swarms of spacecraft as network units. Super-high-speed intra-swarm communications could be achieved via omnidirectional optical links. The swarms act as autonomous network nodes and are capable of forming large synthetic apertures that enable high data rate communications among the IPN nodes. Depending on the sensors they carry, these swarms may also be capable of forming large synthetic sensors by rapidly combining data among the spacecraft. We envision distances between spacecraft forming a swarm to be in the range of 102-104 kilometers, whereas distances of 106-108 kilometers among swarms (IPN nodes) are expected. We provide an example of an initial IPN implementation in the inner solar system where swarms of spacecraft are deployed around the Earth, Moon, Mars, Venus and Mercury. Placing swarms around 3 Lagrange points per planet yield a total of 12 possible IPN network nodes. We present communications link calculations among IPN nodes that allow high data rate communications between Earth and Mars while Mars is in solar conjunction (behind the Sun). A second example of an IPN platforms includes a giant spaceborne radio telescope behind the moon.
dc.description.sponsorship NASA/JPL en_US
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher Pasadena, CA: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2020
dc.title An Inter Planetary Network Enabled by SmallSats
dc.type Preprint

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