Cisco’s Internet Routing in Space (IRIS) technology, a program to build a radiation-tolerant IP router for satellite and related spacecraft, has achieved another major milestone with the successful completion of in-orbit testing for the United States’ Department of Defense.
The IRIS router supports network services for voice, video and data communications, helping enable government agencies, military units and allied forces to communicate with one another using IP and existing ground equipment. This offers several enhancements over conventional satellite technology and eliminates the need to send data to and from an extra ground station, which can be expensive and time-consuming.
The IRIS Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) is a Department of Defense (DoD) demonstration program managed by a Cisco-led Industry Management Team that included Intelsat (News - Alert) General. It is the first commercially-sponsored JCTD and represents a new model for closer collaboration between government and industry.
During the JCTD evaluation, IRIS services were tested by US DoD and global governmental users in real-world scenarios, both on land and at sea. In each instance, IRIS was able to provide on-demand connectivity and enhance the mission effectiveness of these users. The JCTD evaluation also featured real-time collaboration applications over satellite including virtual private networks and video and file transfers.
Following this JCTD completion, the IRIS payload is undergoing extended commercial and government testing for up to 12 months to demonstrate its viability for additional applications for the at-large satellite networking ecosystem.
Cisco successfully completed the in-orbit test of its IOS software’s networking capabilities and their on-board router.
The software on the IRIS router and onboard modem can be upgraded in orbit, which increases flexibility and the return on investment. IRIS runs Cisco IOS (Internetworking Operating System) software. IRIS leverages billions of dollars in Cisco IOS R&D and integrates seamlessly with Cisco ground routers, creating a converged, multiservice space and ground network. IRIS extends the Internet into Space as it can directly exchange routing updates with Cisco ground routers, which increases the flexibility of the satellite network.