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IP Protocol Stack in Deep Space

Document Type Declined BOF request
Title IP Protocol Stack in Deep Space
Last updated 2023-09-28
State Declined
Editor Marc Blanchet
Responsible leadership
Send notices to (None)

Name: IP Protocol Stack in Deep Space (deepspace)


Deep space communications involve very long delays and intermittent communications. Up to now, communications have been done on layer-2 point-to-point links, with sometimes the use of relays, therefore no layer-3 internetworking was possible or required. RFC 4838 reports an assessment done around 25 years ago concluding that the TCP/IP protocol stack was not suitable for deep space networking. This result lead to the definition of a new protocol stack based on a store and forward paradigm implemented in the Bundle Protocol(BP RFC 9174). Recently, space agencies are planning to deploy IP networks on ground and vicinity of celestial bodies , such as Moon or Mars. Early investigation shows that the combination of a new IP forwarding queueing discipline to store packets, the QUIC transport properly configured, HTTP and applications properly configured, seems to be working in this environment. The scope of this work is to revisit the initial assessment of "rejecting" IP and to define profiles for existing protocols to enable IETF protocols over IP in deep space.

Required Details

  • Status: WG Forming
  • Responsible AD: Eric Vyncke
  • BOF proponents: Marc Blanchet <>, Christian Huitema <>, Dean Bogdanovic <>
  • BOF chairs: TBD
  • Number of people expected to attend: 100
  • Length of session (1 or 2 hours): 2 hours
  • Conflicts (whole Areas and/or WGs)
  • Chair Conflicts: TBD
  • Technology Overlap: dtn, quic, tvr
  • Key Participant Conflict: dtn, quic, tvr

Information for IAB/IESG

To allow evaluation of your proposal, please include the following items:

  • Any protocols or practices that already exist in this space: Bundle Protocol (RFC9174)
  • Which (if any) modifications to existing protocols or practices are required: TBD
  • Which (if any) entirely new protocols or practices are required: TBD
  • Open source projects (if any) implementing this work:


  • Problem statement
  • Proposed scope of work
  • Discussion
  • Next steps