Cisco announced that its Internet routing in space (IRIS) technology has completed a successful in-orbit test of the Cisco IOS software’s networking capabilities and the company’s on-board router.

This is the first-ever deployment of an Internet protocol (IP) router aboard a commercial GEO satellite, according to Cisco. The technology was launched via Intelsat’s IS-14 satellite on Nov. 23, 2009.

IRIS is a program to build a radiation-tolerant IP router for satellite and related spacecraft. Its payload will support network services for voice, video and data communications, helping enable government agencies, military units and allied forces to communicate with one another using Internet Protocol and existing ground equipment.

IRIS enables users to experience a true mobile network—one that helps them to connect and communicate how, when and where they want, and that continuously adapts to their needs without a reliance on predefined, fixed infrastructure.

IRIS can route data to multiple ground receivers in a single step, eliminating the need to double-hop to a teleport and therefore reducing latency and increasing transponder utilization.

The IRIS program is a Department of Defense Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) managed by Cisco and Intelsat General Corp. The IRIS payload will convert to commercial use following the three-month JCTD ending in April 2010.

The in-orbit test was conducted using SEAKR Engineering Inc.’s application-independent processor (AIP), which was used to host the router and software-defined radio functions necessary for on-board routing, enabling satellite routing capabilities to be reconfigured and updated dynamically from the ground.

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