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Ames Mission Network Deployed for LADEE and IRIS Missions

The Ames Mission Network Project (AMNP) has designed, implemented, and deployed a reliable, secure, and flexible Mission Network to support NASA space missions managed at the Ames Research Center (ARC) Multi-Mission Operations Center (MMOC). The Ames Mission Network (AMN) is a secure, high-speed network for mission use and provides connectivity via restricted IONet to other NASA space flight centers and to ground stations on the Near Earth Network, Deep Space Network, and Space Network. The AMN implementation was completed on schedule and within budget on December 1, 2011, and passed its Operational Readiness Review on December 6, 2011. The first mission customers of the AMN are the LADEE and IRIS missions. In the last two months, the MMOC transitioned all of the LADEE and IRIS equipment onto the AMN and successfully verified connectivity to the Deep Space Network. Kepler equipment is scheduled to follow in April.

BACKGROUND: The MMOC provides management of mission ops, flight ops, and ground systems activities for ARC-led space missions. The MMOC portfolio of space missions has been steadily increasing over the years and the MMOC had been using the ARC Local Area Network (ARCLAN) for data transit between the MMOC and various external mission-related facilities. However, the growing portfolio of MMOC-managed space missions requires specific network security, availability, and quality of service profiles that differ from those offered by the general-purpose ARCLAN. To meet these requirements, a joint Information Technology Directorate and Exploration Technology Directorate project team was formed and set out to establish a separate network for the MMOC, dedicated solely to mission traffic.

The new AMN connects mission customers to key facilities within ARC and beyond. It provides core network services (data, voice, and video) in a secure environment that can be tailored to the requirements of individual missions. Through the use of VLANS, subnets can easily be configured on the AMN without having to move switches and routing equipment. The AMN design achieves a high level of resilience through the use of diverse paths, and redundant equipment and connections. It currently employs 1Gbps interfaces that can be easily upgraded for higher throughput. The AMNP also established a NASA Integrated Services Network-restricted IONet interface to provide a secure wide area network to other NASA facilities, such as the Near Earth Network and Deep Space Network ground stations. Key benefits of a standalone mission network include a fast and secure networking environment for spaceflight missions, the ability to tailor network security to each mission’s requirements, isolation of mission traffic from general administrative traffic on ARCLAN, and provision of a centrally managed network service that eliminates the need for each mission to independently implement and maintain its own network.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: The Kepler, LADEE, and IRIS missions, and Ames Center Management and Operations

TEAM: Paresh Bhavsar, Robert Dumais, Mark Foster, Joan Differding, Brian Johnson, Edward Kent, West Kurihara, Matthew Mountz, and Brian Stamper

Contact: Joan Differding

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