As discussed in a previous article; Ring Computing will be an independent Extra Terrestrial Network, born to communicate. Although it is just a concept at this point, sooner or later this will become inevitable. It will not be a just another innovation in Satcom advancement but will serve the purpose of a stable backup network for already in use networks.
Despite rapid growth of telecommunication networks there are still so many un-served & under-served areas on both land and sea. Typically, such areas are served by conventional satellite communication networks; which may be a viable solution to corporations and government customers but not affordable to end users or even SME’s due to expensive bandwidth and specialized DTE (Data Terminal Equipment) and solutions. Even such last-mile solutions have limited services, which may be increased but at exponentially rising rates. Ring Computing, on the other hand, will be a solution to overcome such limitations at reduced rates.
Due to huge volume of the network, Ring Computing has to be served via a constellation of satellites by a single or multiple operators. Operators that desire to join the venture have to plan added payload to their upcoming satellites; which will include on-board routing, switching, processing and data storage equipment, along with added antennas to talk with other satellites in the constellation. Like any other similar project, Ring Computing will face challenges and they have to be mapped against advantages, to calculate the feasibility of such deployment.
- This network will definitely require a mountain of investment, keeping in view the cost required for Research & Development and finally deployment. But once deployed Ring Computing will record somewhat stable OPEX and very high ROI.
- Additional payload and power requirement for added on-board equipment will be a challenge for satellite manufacturers. Behavior of processing, routing and database management at such an altitude will be a problem too. These problems can be anticipated and resolved during the above mentioned R&D and initial investment phases.
- Data privacy of Satellite Operators´ existing customer base can be questioned. Ring Computing will not overlap the conventional physical layer of existing customers, unless they are willing to join the dawn of new technology. Satellite Operators joining the constellation will just have an added payload and a passage for wireless data to the neighboring satellites. Their planned Satcom operations for existing customers will not be disturbed. And for the new customers joining the Ring, data security will be available like any other encryption standards currently being used in public or private networks.
- Larger size of satellite due to added payloads and increased power requirements can be a point of concern for environmentalists already debating issue of space debris. This can be resolved by making new satellites and on-board components easily upgradable and replaceable. Just a couple of spacecrafts will be required for savior voyages for regular upgrade and replacement of the components, including even antennas, solar panels & battery banks. This is a solution which can be worked on even if Ring Computing fails to make an appearance. It will reduce the costs of launching a new bird every few months and the environmental footprint of space debris will also be reduced.
These are the major challenges Ring Computing can face and their preliminary solutions. Now let us take a quick look at advantages Ring Computing may bring.
- A backup network for the already deployed multiple networks on the planet with outreach to every un-served and under-served area.
- Inter-satellite communication in the constellation to guarantee reduced delays faced by multiple hops over different satellites connecting customers not covered by a single satellite.
- Distributed data storage on different satellites in the constellation for a secure database backup for data warehousing.
- Ring Computing network will be there in any worst case scenario on earth with damages to existing networks.
- Disaster relief activities and monitoring without deploying any additional infrastructure
- Real time connectivity for travelers on aircraft and ships.
- DTH services can be provided with all the channels available and using a single antenna for downlinking and up linking.
- This network can be used to serve the nature by environmental monitoring, updating any unusual natural phenomenon and saving the environment by the damage laying fiber or erecting towers for microwave links.
Summarizing, this concept faces challenges way before deployment but once deployed it will have limitless possibilities to take Satcom technology to a whole new level and its users along with it.
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