Information network architectures will play a large role in the communications and distribution of data for future space station concepts being investigated by NASA as part of its long-range space planning. The Langley Research Center, as part of its data systems research and technology program, has undertaken to identify and direct research toward solutions that would fit the context of the space station as currently envisioned (Fig, 1). This space station would be established in low earth orbit in the early 1990s by joining together modules and compartments. Over the 20-year lifetime many other modules and compartments would be connected, disconnected, modified, and reconnected to establish a fully autonomous space station. Since the future space station would require high-performance information network architectures and technologies that are evolvable, adaptive, self-correcting, and repairing, a hierarchy of data networks for the space station based on fiber optics is being investigated (Fig. 2).

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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