A direct-to-ground architecture for supporting Commercial Communications from the International Space Station

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2002

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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 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.

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