Cisco Shoots For The Stars - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Infrastructure
News
10/2/2003
06:01 PM
David Ewalt
David Ewalt
Features
50%
50%

Cisco Shoots For The Stars

Satellite company uses off-the-shelf Cisco router in space; networks could extend to the cosmos

Is space the final frontier for enterprise networking? The United Kingdom's Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. last week launched a rocket into orbit from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia, roughly 500 miles north of Moscow. Aboard was a satellite powered by an off-the-shelf Cisco Systems router--a development that could reduce the cost of building communications satellites and allow businesses to extend their networks into the cosmos.

100UK

Surrey Satellite used a Cisco router to power a recent satellite
"We want to make space more affordable and more of a reality for enterprise users," says Rick Sanford, director of space initiatives for Cisco's Global Defense and Space Group.

Businesses often use satellite communications systems for point-to-multipoint communications, such as sending data from the main office to dozens or hundreds of branch offices. Most satellites use specialized, proprietary hardware and software to communicate with the ground, and that requires major development costs as well as tricky network design and maintenance. But since this British satellite (called UK-DMC) uses a Cisco 3251 Mobile Access Router and standards-based Cisco software, it was not only cheaper to make but sets the stage for standard IP networks in orbit.

Because of the harsh temperatures in orbit, designers had to change some capacitors and connectors on the router. But by beginning with affordable commercial hardware (the 3251 retails for about $3,250) they were still able to significantly reduce costs. And by using the same standards-based mobile IP software that businesses do on Earth, the satellite system also sets the stage for the project's ultimate goal, extending enterprise networks into space.

The UK-DMC satellite will be used as part of a network of orbiting Earth-observation platforms, dedicated to taking images of the planet to monitor natural resources or to provide pictures in the event of a natural disaster.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Remote Work Tops SF, NYC for Most High-Paying Job Openings
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/20/2021
Slideshows
Blockchain Gets Real Across Industries
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  7/22/2021
Commentary
Seeking a Competitive Edge vs. Chasing Savings in the Cloud
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/19/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
Video
Current Issue
Monitoring Critical Cloud Workloads Report
In this report, our experts will discuss how to advance your ability to monitor critical workloads as they move about the various cloud platforms in your company.
Slideshows
Flash Poll