Recent developments in deep space communications technology have begun to address this problem. Over the past 20 years the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) has established a wide range of standards for deep space communications, including Telecommand and Telemetry wireless link protocols for spacecraft operations. A recent addition to this program is the CCSDS File Delivery protocol (CFDP) which is designed for reliable file transfer across interplanetary distances .The “CFDPRP” link ARQ system is a hypothetical protocol that would be constructed by, in essence, implementing just the data retransmission procedures specified for CFDP. (Note that although CFDP implementations exist, the CFDP-RP stand alone subset has not yet been isolated for the purpose proposed here.)

For the final delivery of the module from the relay orbiters to the weather station on its wireless LAN, TCP/RP might again be the best choice .But now TCP/IP would be running over wireless link protocols, perhaps CCSDS Proximity-1 to the satellites and 802.11b among the landed assets. As in interplanetary space, and in contrast to the wired Internet, data rates on these links are likely to be fairly low, and the potential for congestion will be low for the foreseeable future.

Since no single stack will perform satisfactorily on all segments of the route, no single protocol immediately below the application layer is suitable for end-to-end use in this scenario. How then can the application operate?

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