European Space Agency

ESA projects demonstrate native IPv6 over DVB-S


The Global IPv6 Service Launch Event in Brussels on 15 and 16 January 2004 was the location for a demonstration by ESA initiated projects on the new Internet Protocol version 6 over DVB-S satellite links.

ESA has initiated a number of projects that support the future role of satellite in the Internet. For this event a large number of native European IPv6 networks (such as 6NET, Euro6IX, GÉANT - see external links on the right of this page) were connected with networks in the United States, Latin America, Japan and Korea.

To complete the demonstrations, a satellite component was established between the ESTEC GRID-IPv6 network and the worldwide IPv6 network, using ESTEC satellite uplink facilities in the Netherlands and an ESA transportable satellite station at the Global IPv6 event. Then, video streaming over IPv6/DVB-S was uplinked from ESTEC in the Netherlands, and received at the Brussels venue.  
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Native IPv6 deployment could be implemented using commercially available DVB-S receiver cards for Linux PC's (costing less than 100 Euro) and IP/DVB Gateways with modified drivers.
This architecture can be viewed in the image on the above right.

The purpose of the ESA projects demonstration was to show how satellite communications can support the deployment of IPv6 and associated services. This can be done with fast interconnection of isolated IPv6 networks, allowing for large scale multicasting as well as implementing mobile and maritime IPv6 access architectures.


ESA considers this an important activity because, according to Frank Zeppenfeldt Communications Engineer for ESA ESTEC, "Satellite communications play an important role in Internet trunking and direct Internet access: almost 640 satellite transponders were dedicated to such services in 2003. In the future, IPv6 Internet satellite communications will continue to be an essential part of the Internet infrastructure."

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  During the event, delegates from Nokia, Renault, RIPE, the UMTS Forum, Alcatel and the European Commission were on hand to express their views in a panel discussing IPv6Services and Applications. ESA was represented by José  Maria Casas, Head of Service Projects Division.

Event Date

22 January 2004
Published 26 May 2009
Last updated at 26 May 2009 - 12:06