Starlink routing

Jorge Amodio jmamodio at
Mon Jan 23 23:41:45 UTC 2023


We are in the process of starting a new Working Group at IETF, Timer
Variant Routing or TVR.

Some of the uses cases are for space applications where you can predict or
schedule the availability and capacity of "links" (radio, optical)

This gets sort of merged with DTN (Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking.)

NASA GRC has developed a High Speed version of DTN aka HDTN that is being
tested in terrestrial setups but soon to be tested in space.

For now all this is experimental.

Plus there are several commercial entities also working in this realm, one
is, spin-off of Google's Loon project.


On Sun, Jan 22, 2023 at 5:17 PM Michael Thomas <mike at> wrote:

> On 1/22/23 3:05 PM, Matthew Petach wrote:
> 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.
> One thing that is in their favor is that while they are moving, they are
> moving in a predictable manner. It seems that each router could,
> essentially, locally update routes until they are told otherwise?
> 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.
> Has IETF looked at this, do you know? Even if the routers can't
> interoperate with other systems, it would be good to have some routing clue
> with a lot of eyeballs on it to not make rookie mistakes.
> Mike
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