Using VCOM in Aerospace Applications (Part 1)
Several NASA locations are using VCOM for several years in communications applications. I will describe some of them and also mention some other VCOM users in this market.
NASA Desert Research and Technology Studies
NASA’s Desert Research and Technology Studies team (“Desert RATS”) use VCOM for IP communications by replacing some radio systems at desert and arctic testing sites for extraterrestrial excursion vehicles connecting via a 100 km by 100 km Wi-Fi mesh locally and to other NASA facilities using satellite backhaul from the desert test site.
Here is a description of their operations from the NASA Desert RATS webpage:
“The high-desert terrain and isolation of northern Arizona provides an ideal backdrop for the development and testing of spaceflight equipment and technology. NASA’s Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) are carried out at a series of experimental sites within a 75-mile radius of Flagstaff, with the area around Winslow, Arizona’s Meteor Crater site serving as a major research hub.”
“The arid climate, harsh winds, and rocky desert terrain of the region allow NASA to evaluate different conditions that will enable multiple destinations for future human exploration including high Earth orbit, Lagrange points, the Moon, near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), Mars moons, and ultimately the surface of Mars. Experiments and training conducted at the Desert RATS site focus on equipment and spacesuit tests, vehicular excursions and exploration, remote communication protocols, and astrogeology.”