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Emulated Spacecraft Communication Testbed for Evaluating Cognitive Networking TechnologyThe ability to emulate the full space protocol stack is an essential aspect required to evaluate and mature cognitive communication capabilities. The interaction between the physical layer and network layers is key to developing network optimizations for a dynamic and complex environment. We present a laboratory testbed for the evaluation of cognitive radio and networking techniques applied to space communications. The testbed is a high fidelity, flight-like hardware testbed consisting of software-defined radios, channel emulators, modems, and orbital analysis and scheduling software. The testbed uses RF links with signal quality, propagation delay, and Doppler effects driven by orbital mechanics simulations of emulated spacecraft. Our framework enables control of link bidirectionality, data rates, and interference sources.  In addition to hardware radio nodes, the testbed can incorporate virtualized emulated nodes for larger and more challenging network scenarios.  Our approach to a cognitive communication system uses delay tolerant networking (DTN) to mitigate the challenges of the space environment. While many DTN networks use only preplanned schedules, our system uses User-Initiated Service (UIS) to dynamically schedule service providers. Software-defined radio allows the system to adapt to a variety of service providers. Integration of DTN, UIS, and software-defined radio technologies provides a framework for the implementation of a cognitive communication system. This paper describes the testbed capabilities, network emulation approach, component integration, and initial end-to-end testing results.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Joseph Downey
(Glenn Research Center Cleveland, Ohio, United States)
Adam Gannon
(Glenn Research Center Cleveland, Ohio, United States)
Aaron Smith
(Glenn Research Center Cleveland, Ohio, United States)
Mick Koch
(Glenn Research Center Cleveland, Ohio, United States)
Rachel Dudukovich
(Glenn Research Center Cleveland, Ohio, United States)
Date Acquired
May 19, 2023
Subject Category
Communications and Radar
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command and Tracking
Meeting Information
Meeting: IEEE Cognitive Communications for Aerospace Applications (CCAA) Workshop
Location: Cleveland, OH
Country: US
Start Date: June 20, 2023
End Date: June 22, 2023
Sponsors: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Funding Number(s)
WBS: 553323.04.01.02
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Technical Review
Single Expert
cognitive radio
delay tolerant networking
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