What if we built a network so amazing, we could stream data from deep space, under uncertain conditions and guarantee its arrival on earth. It would be the internet of space, thats what! Using arduinos and software defined radio, we're going to hack a real satellite, and build a "Disruption Tolerant Network" that will act as a back bone for the interplanetary internet!

This project is solving the Bring the Internet to Deep Space Exploration challenge.


The Plan

The “Disruption Tolerant Network” (DTN) protocol is the foundation of the coming interplanetary internet. It allows for the effective transmission of data to and from deep space by storing the data on “nodes” of the network until a safe path is available. A DTN network assumes that at any moment something may go terribly wrong, where as a traditional network, like the one our terrestrial internet is based on, assumes a connection is always available.

We are going to build our own DTN using arduinos, mesh networking radios, and an open source implementation of the “bundle protocol”. Our network will allow us to transmit data between two points even when the connection between those two points is completely severed! As a bonus, we will attempt to use Software Defined Radio to hack a Geosynchronous weather satellite and relay live images of earth to a screen!

DTN Diagram

The Tools:

  1. Arduino Yuns: These are microcontrollers with an onboard linux computer. Ideal for running the DTN software.

  2. Xbee radios: A device that allows our arduinos to form mesh networks on the fly.

  3. Rasberry Pi: A tiny linux computer that will run our software defined radio for hacking the weather satellite.

The People

To pull this off we need the following skills:

  1. C/C++ For the DTN software on the arduinos.

  2. Soldering.

  3. Ham/SDR Radio for the weather satellite.

  4. Video Production to help us tell an amazing story.

  5. UX/UI design to help us create sexy data visualizations.

  6. Node.js/Python to build the data services for the UI.

  7. Hugs, always need hugs.

Project Information

License: MIT license (MIT)

Source Code/Project URL:



  • Andrew Silbersmith
  • George Kong
  • Brian Kelley
  • Scott MacNeill
  • Eve Paul
  • Nitya Narasimhan
  • Peter Rood
  • James Wanga