Saturday, June 28, 2014


 ED. NOTE: I'd cut and pasted this from my own response, tonight, in an online forum.

Considering the OSI seven layer model: There may be some applications possible for existing fiber optic "layer 1" technologies, therein using  a sort of "different" optical media, though, namely in real "Outer space," moreover in a context of the emerging privatization of "Outer space," as around such as Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic and SpaceShip Two, the latter's "home spaceport" being located near Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Observing the web site of the NASA LLCD  project, specifically, NASA has begun to develop technologies such that may be suitable for high-throughput communication between satellites, using a digital encoding on optical signals, in real "outer space." Of course, there would also be some complex satellite positioning algorithms being required, in the same -- the network being absent of an effective "cable" between each of the respective light-signal endpoints -- that the system appears to function in a manner broadly analogous to a hypothetical system of a flashlight (or rather, a laser) and a lens, each in a digital circuit, moreover absent of intervening "air".

If the optical networking technologies used in the LLCD project might be -- in some ways -- analogous to conventional fiber optic media, then, and if the same technologies may be suitably miniaturized, perhaps such a possibility could be recognized commercially, and applied towards further production of that technology. Of course, it might not be viable for a "mass market," but it might be useful for application in further development of some emerging technologies -- such as, ostensibly, towards asteroid mining at orbital lagrange points above low earth orbit. No doubt, such systems as could be used in a by-in-large automated orbital asteroid mining system, those systems could function without continuous optical networking, but certainly it would not be a bad thing if a constant optical network was available as among the respective "mining satellites", and wherever the main "mining control people" would be, whether in orbit or (ostensibly with a repeater between the optical network and a radio network) on the ground.

Conceivably, if it may be possible to build the further OSI layers on top of that optical media, then -- perhaps, as in implementing an existing TCP/IP stack effectively onto such networking media, as could be approached in using Cisco's IOS and its QNX RTOS baseline, or an RTOS Linux implementation -- then, it might even be possible to implement CORBA in real "outer space". Of course, it would also need a suitably resilient digital electronics platform, for such a networking system to function continuously, in orbit.

Maybe one day, there could be CIsco routers in real "outer space."