Assessment of the 802.11g Wireless Protocol for Lunar Surface Communications

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Executive Summary

Future lunar surface missions supporting the NASA Vision for Space Exploration will rely on wireless networks to transmit voice and data. The ad hoc network architecture is of particular interest since it does not require a complex infrastructure. This paper looks at data performance over an ad hoc network with varying distances between Apple AirPort wireless cards. It developed a testing program to transmit data packets at precise times and then monitored the receive time to characterize connection delay, packet loss, and data rate. Best results were received for wireless links of less than 75 ft, and marginally acceptable (25-percent) packet loss was received at 150 ft.

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