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Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking (dtn)

WG Name Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking
Acronym dtn
Area Internet Area (int)
State Active
Charter charter-ietf-dtn-02 Approved
Status update Show Changed 2016-10-31
Document dependencies
Additional resources Issue tracker, Wiki, Zulip Stream
Personnel Chairs Edward J. Birrane, Rick Taylor
Area Director Erik Kline
Secretary Adam Wiethuechter
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Charter for Working Group

The Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) Working Group specifies
mechanisms for data communications in the presence of long delays and/or
intermittent connectivity. The Working Group has published the Bundle Protocol
v7 (BPv7), corresponding Bundle Protocol Security protocol (BPSec) and an
interoperable Security Context, and the TCP Convergence Layer specifications
as standards track RFCs. Multiple independent implementations
exist for these technologies in both space and terrestrial
environments, and the technology is now used in production by governments and
commercial organizations world-wide.

This Working Group now focuses on the further work relevant to the area of
Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking, dividing work items into 3
broad categories:

  • An architecture for Naming, Addressing and Forwarding

    The Bundle Protocol v7 defines an encoding of Names for use in DTN, but the
    detailed semantics have not been specified. The Working Group will define
    a common architecture for the delay/disruption tolerant assignment of
    names, and the late-binding of such names during bundle forwarding to
    end-points within a DTN. This architecture will define a model
    for the forwarding process of a Bundle Process Agent, providing an
    informational reference point for further specifications.

    The Working Group charter intentionally excludes topics related to Routing
    in DTNs. This does not preclude discussion of the subject, in coordination
    with the Routing Area, but no Working Group documents will be adopted under
    this charter.

  • The definition of an architecture and protocols in the areas of Operations,
    Administration, and Management (OAM), and Key Management

    Current DTN deployments rely on the use of pre-placed keys and
    configuration or bespoke tooling, and there is a growing demand for
    standards to improve the automation and reliability of DTN management.
    Existing IETF protocols for OAM and Key Management generally rely on a
    bi-directional end-to-end path between devices, and in Delay/Disruption
    Tolerant Networks (DTNs) such paths rarely exist. To enable OAM and Key
    Management in such cases, there may be a need to standardize an
    architecture supporting alternative methods and their supporting protocols
    and data models. The Working Group will liaise with relevant experts in
    the OPS Area to discover if there are existing standards that meet, or may
    be extended to meet, the DTN use-cases before standardizing new protocols.
    There is also believed to be cross-over between the use-cases for OAM and
    Key Management in DTNs and the use-cases in Mobile Ad-hoc Networks
    (MANETs); to this end the Working Group will coordinate with the MANET
    Working Group to explore potential synergies and avoid duplication of

  • Extensions to and best practices for existing protocols

    Extensions to the Bundle Protocol to enable reliability signalling,
    tunnelling and Quality of Service indication are needed for the operational
    deployment of Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networks, and these capabilities
    will be standardized by the Working Group.

    Additional extensions to the Bundle Protocol, additional Security Context
    definitions for BPSec, and new Convergence Layer adapters will be
    considered on a case-by-case basis by the working group.

    The Working Group will also document best practices learned from existing

The Working Group will coordinate with other IETF Working Groups, especially in the Security, Routing, Operation and Management Areas, to ensure the quality of
peer review, the avoidance of duplication of effort, and alignment with
specifications produced in other Working Groups.


Date Milestone Associated documents
Jul 2024 Key Management Protocol
Mar 2024 Delay-Tolerant Management Protocols draft-birrane-dtn-amp
Nov 2023 Neighbor/Peer Discovery Protocol Specification
Jul 2023 QoS/Flow Extension Block draft-burleigh-dtn-ecos
Jul 2023 Bundle-in-Bundle Encapsulation draft-ietf-dtn-bibect
Mar 2023 Bundle Progress Signalling
Mar 2023 Naming and Addressing Architecture Document
Jul 2022 Delay-Tolerant Management Architecture draft-ietf-dtn-ama