12th July 2022 - 13th July 2022
Blue Sky Thinking on Computer Networks in Space
This workshop will bring together the satellite engineering and computer networking communities to address challenges in providing reliable inter-constellation connectivity in different orbits to enable huge internet satellite constellations to realise their potential.
Constellations of thousands of satellites will envelop the earth to provide new kind of high-throughput and low-latency connectivity. These new mega-constellations such as Elon Musk’s Starlink, Amazon’s Kuiper, or OneWeb rely on large numbers of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to cut down the latency from 250 – 300 milliseconds (in the case of geostationary satellites) to a few tens of milliseconds, enabling entirely new classes of exciting applications such as low-latency algorithmic trading across distances, or providing high throughput connectivity to difficult-to-reach locations such as oil rigs.
However, the problem at hand -- providing reliable high-bandwidth connectivity between fast-moving objects in space -- is extremely complex, and many aspects are as yet unresolved. These developments, especially the need to create a network of unprecedented numbers of satellites when they are dynamically moving in their orbits, call for new network protocol and architecture research. This has led to a flurry of interest from computer networking researchers across the world ever since the first Starlink satellite launched in 2018. However, there is an acute need for this line of work to consider and be informed by the realities and difficulties of satellite engineering and space systems engineering – for example, the networks need to work as the satellites pass by at extremely high speeds, and space radiation can randomly flip bits on ordinary electrical systems, calling for radiation hardening.
This workshop brings together academia from both the satellite engineering and computer networking communities and industry over two days to provide each community exposure to state-of-the-art knowledge, showcase novel transatlantic testbeds, explore problems, and create a common research agenda.
This workshop will also host funding opportunities panel discussion with panelists from the National Science Foundation (NSF), US, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), UK, and others to have a two-way discussion about what funding options currently exist, as well as new research questions that the researchers would want to bring to the attention of the funders.
Programme at a glance is available here
For full programme, please visit the workshop brochure
Prof Gorry Fairhurst, University of Aberdeen
Dr Debopam Bhattacherjee, Microsoft Research, Bangalore
Prof Malcolm Macdonald, University of Strathclyde
Prof Mark Handley, UCL
Rowan Chesmer, Vodafone
David Israel, NASA
Prof Ella Atkins, VT
Prof Nishanth Sastry, Department of Computer Science
Prof Jonathan Black, Department of Computer Science
Mohammed Kassem, Department of Computer Science
The report for this workshop is available to download below.get_appDownload Report
Please see the accompanying videos below for more information on this event.