PlanetNet is a Canadian Space Agency-funded NASA/SFU collaboration on the needs for communication systems
supporting robotic and human exploration on other planets in the Solar System. The primary focus is the needs for
extensive exploration of Mars, a planet dominated by rugged topography, but without an extensive ionosphere for simple long-range communications.
The first stage of our project takes place during the 2000 Field season of the NASA-led
Haughton-Mars Project (HMP).
HMP takes place in the region around the Haughton impact crater on Devon Island, Nunavut, in the Canadian High
During this season, we will deploy high-speed space-based networking solutions and integrate them to advanced radio
communication systems. PolyLAB collaborative technologies will be deployed using these networks, and large-scale
planetary science research supported in the field.
PlanetNet expands on our earlier CraterNet
research conducted during the 1999 HMP Field Season.
Live from the Field:
Chat: Chat with scientists
and engineers at the Haughton-Mars Project using PolyLAB VIN technology.
Live video from HMP 2000! When spacelink
data budget permits, we will transmit high-quality video using multiple technologies, include RealMedia, live from the
field. The technologies will use protocols that can be utilized over interplanetary communication links, and will
operate both directly through the satellite communication system located at HMP Base Camp, and through the
regional PlanetNet radio system. Many feature-length videos will also be uploaded to various sites using PlanetNet,
demonstrating how news stories and other content can be delivered by communities in the High Arctic.
Webcam: In collaboration with
SpaceRef, we will transmit SpaceRef's webcam images of the HMP field site and
Mars Society Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station construction effort.
A wide range of technological developments are taking place to
support the study. We will describe them as soon as information is
- Wireless Testbed Development: A regional communications testbed
in the Vancouver region, being developed by the SFU Telematics Research
Lab in collaboration with PolyLAB. The testbed supports many research projects,
but serves as a testbed of PlanetNet radio technology.
- Mars Networking Testbed: A system for simulating the delay and
network errors present in a communications link from Earth to Mars, as
well as to anywhere in the inner Solar System.
Interplanetary Mailbox: Development of protocols and technologies for supporting complex file
delivery across interplanetary distances and other networking systems with
high network delay.
- XANTHE: eXpedition Advanced Networking Transportable Hardware
Environment. XANTHE deals with the need for robust, simple to maintain,
distributed computing environments for exploration, especially Human
planetary exploration and interplanetary cruise phase and
space-station spaced computing.