The future of deep space communication
What is Space Braiding?
In future Martian missions the distances are so vast that there will be delay in communication with Earth. That delay will vary through the mission and might exceed 20 minutes. Living with latency through the likely three year mission duration will affect operational communications and also the crew’s personal contact with their loved ones on Earth.
This is where Space Braiding comes in. We can’t remove the latency, that is a basic fact of physics, but we can make it feel to participants at either end that they are in a normal, synchronous, conversation.
How a future crewed Mars approach might look
With the Georgia Institute of Technology we are working as part of a NASA project studying how Space Braiding can improve operational communication on future Mars missions.
Research into latency and its impact on future crew health and operational efficiency is very much in its infancy but is rapidly accelerating. For example, NASA recently updated its Human Research Roadmap specifically recognising, for the first time, the risk of harm to crew members if they are unable to engage emotionally with their loved ones on Earth. Braided Communications expects to play a key role as this field develops in the years ahead and has already worked with the Satellite Applications Catapult and developers Bad Dinosaur and GravityWell to create the components of a communications latency research environment. We are keen to build further partnerships with industrial and academic partners to explore these opportunities. Please get in touch if you think we can work together.