Proximity Driver Dashboard, 2014

Over one weekend I was invited by Space Apps, a group sponsored by NASA, to be part of a team to build a noninterference, isolated network.  This network prototypes allowed satellites to communicate with each other, uninterrupted by cosmic dust, asteroid interference, or any stellar disruption.  

Technically: Using ssh network protocol (a system used to log into a remote machine and execute commands, and sometimes transfer files) to establish an entirely new network, we addressed architectural and protocol design principles arising from the need to provide interoperable communications with and among extreme and performance-challenged environments.  The goal was continuous end-to-end connectivity.

In Other Words: Making a terrestrial prototype, such as a device to be used during Hurricane Sandy, a user would be able to send text messages when all systems are down. Using the same DSN protocol (a connection directly connected to some data source) used by NASA, we created a successful, resilient network with the capacity to be used globally.  For example, if the internet goes down during a disaster, and the cell-tower system is disabled, users can still communicate -- and, in our case -- send a text message to each other.

“Proximity”was built with Arduinos and an X-Bee communication device -- and was tested successfully and proposed to NASA along with a prototype interface.

User Interface

We developed a prototyped-sketch for a GUI for the project.

Detailing network isolation and deep packet controls, tables (above) showed the amount of data sent, lost, and successfully delivered.

Here is a video of the space, the challenge and the project.