NASA’s Disruption Tolerant Networking Challenge Series

Welcome to the NASA Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) project. DTN is an approach to computer network architecture that seeks to address the technical issues in heterogeneous networks that may lack continuous network connectivity. Examples of such networks are those operating in mobile or extreme terrestrial environments, or planned networks in space. Disruption may occur because of the limits of wireless radio range, sparsity of mobile nodes, energy resources, attack, and noise.

Project Background

The Interplanetary Overlay Network (ION) software distribution is an implementation of Delay-Tolerant Networking (DTN) architecture as described in RFC 4838. DTN ION includes implementations of the DTN Bundle Protocol, the Licklider Transmission Protocol, most of the Bundle Security Protocol, and two CCSDS application protocols that have been adapted to run over the BP/LTP stack: the CCSDS File Delivery Protocol and Asynchronous Message Service.

Project Objectives

The goal of this project is very simple – and that is to update DTN ION so that it includes IP Neighbor Discovery (IPND).

IPND is a method for otherwise oblivious nodes to learn of the existence, availability, and addresses of other DTN participants. IPND both sends and listens for small IP UDP announcement beacons that are addressed to an IP unicast, multicast, or broadcast address to discover specified remote neighbors, or unspecified local neighbors in the network topology.

Other DTN implementations, such as DTN2 and IBR, already support IPND. We now need to update DTN ION to enable neighbor discovery capabilities as well. Neighbor discovery is also needed to enable future dynamic routing capability for the ION DTN implementation.

Project Overview & Stats

This project launched in Feb, 2015 and was completed in July, 2015.

The project was completed using 10 challenges, and had 268 registrants from 8 different countries. The primary objectives of the project have been completed. Here’s a summary:
–Fully implemented IPND within the DTN ION implementation
–Developed a test plan and test for IPND specification compliance
–Provided documentation on how to configure and use the ION IPND capability
–Developed code that can be cleanly integrated into the ION, employing the same coding languages, idioms, etc.
–The final solution contains a fully developed implementation of IPND, including documentation and testing against the specification.