Starlink routing

Crist Clark cjc+nanog at
Sun Jan 22 23:24:13 UTC 2023

I suspect, although I have no references, that satellite to ground
connectivity is probably more “circuit-based” than per-packet or frame.

Iridium has done inter satellite communication for decades. I wonder if it
wouldn’t be something very similar. Although it would be totally on-brand
for them to do it some “revolutionary” new way whether it actually makes
any sense or not.

On Sun, Jan 22, 2023 at 3:06 PM Matthew Petach <mpetach at>

> 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
> fixed,
> 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
> actually
> 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
> would
> be necessary to form an informed opinion.
> So, yes--it's likely the routing protocol used will not be entirely
> "off-the-shelf"
> but will instead incorporate continuous latency information in the LSDB,
> and path selection will be time-bound based on the rate of increase in
> latency
> along currently-selected edges in the graph.
> An interesting problem to dive into, certainly.   :)
> Thanks!
> Matt
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