Keely Hill

Concept network design for a young Mars science station and Trans-planetary communication (Paper)

25 February 2018

From an open ended networking course project during the spring semester of 2017, I wrote a paper describing (in part) a multi-user communication protocol for dealing with the long delays and for providing a high-level interface for multi-team scientific control and data transfer. With the help of one of my professors, Dr.Kanwal Gagneja, it has been published in the Proceedings of MobiSecServ 2018 – a part of IEEE Xplore Digital Library. It was a small conference (no more than 25 people). On February 25 I presented the paper in Miami, FL.

Read the final draft here.

IEEE Xplore publication here
DOI: 10.1109/MOBISECSERV.2018.8311448

I’m very happy to have it published and contribute a small amount to the conversation of how near-future people will be using extraterrestrial computer networks. There are some things I’d probably adjust a year later, though I am proud of the work, had a fun time writing it, and have tremendous gratitude toward Dr.Gagnegja for making this happen.


This paper presents a high-level networking design to provide high bandwidth for a young and growing Mars settlement and science station. A physical network topology is described consisting of a high power ground station to communicate with orbiters. Different parts and devices of the station are connected with network infrastructure. Some examples are given for various non-obvious use cases of the network.

Additionally, an upper level networking protocol is described to handle reliable communication between planets. This Transplanetary Data Mailing Protocol (TDMP) operates three processes working together: a database of retrievable files and user inbox files; a ‘parcel’ structure for data to be contained; and parcel piece fragmenting for asynchronous pipelined transmission and loss handling. Together, these systems allow ease of connection between people, scientists, and experiments.

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