Starlink routing

Matthew Petach mpetach at
Sun Jan 22 23:05:29 UTC 2023

On Sun, Jan 22, 2023 at 2:45 PM Michael Thomas <mike at> wrote:

> I read in the Economist that the gen of starlink satellites will have
> the ability to route messages between each satellite. Would conventional
> routing protocols be up to such a challenge? Or would it have to be
> custom made for that problem? And since a lot of companies and countries
> are getting on that action, it seems like fertile ground for (bad) wheel
> reinvention?
> Mike

Unlike most terrestrial links, the distances between satellites are not
and thus the latency between nodes is variable, making the concept of
"Shortest Path First" calculation a much more dynamic and challenging
one to keep current, as the latency along a path may be constantly changing
as the satellite nodes move relative to each other, without any link state
changing to trigger a new SPF calculation.

I suspect a form of OLSR might be more advantageous in a dynamic partial
mesh between satellites, but I haven't given it as much deep thought as
be necessary to form an informed opinion.

So, yes--it's likely the routing protocol used will not be entirely
but will instead incorporate continuous latency information in the LSDB,
and path selection will be time-bound based on the rate of increase in
along currently-selected edges in the graph.

An interesting problem to dive into, certainly.   :)


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