Cisco successfully tests its router in space

Launched in November, IRIS will be put to government, commercial use

Cisco this week said it successfully tested a router and its IOS software while it was in orbit in space. Cisco said the test is the first deployment of an IP router aboard a commercial GEO satellite, which was launched Nov. 23, 2009.

The router-in-space project is part of Cisco's Internet Routing in Space (IRIS) initiative. IRIS is a program to build a radiation-tolerant router for satellite and spacecraft.

IRIS is designed to support voice, video and data network services for government agencies, military units and allies. Cisco says it is more adaptable than traditional satellite technology because it does not rely on a fixed, predefined infrastructure.

The IRIS program is a Department of Defense Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) managed by Cisco and Intelsat. The IRIS payload will convert to commercial use following the three-month JCTD, which ends in April.

The Defense Information Systems Agency will coordinate the demonstration of IRIS for government users and develop the means for utilizing the technology.

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