The Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program is responsible for providing communications and navigation services to spaceflight missions located throughout the solar system. Astronauts, mission controllers, and scientists depend upon the reliable transmission of information between Earth and spacecraft in low Earth orbit (LEO) or deep space.

The SCaN NetworKing game is an educational, interactive 3D game in which the player develops a space communications network. As the player builds a network infrastructure, client spacecraft are attracted to the network, generating income and allowing the player to build further. As the player expands his or her robust communications network, fortunate and unfortunate events occur. The player’s ultimate goal is to build the integrated space communications network.

Objectives of the game include building a near Earth network that enables periodic communication with satellites in LEO, and deploying a constellation of geosynchronous relay satellites to support LEO missions that require continuous coverage. The player must manage network usage, deal with disasters, and research upgrades to enhance the network’s capabilities. SCaN can be downloaded from http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/3d_resources/scan.html .

This work was done by Gilena Monroe of Ames Research Center; Matthew Antoun, Christopher Antoun, and Laura Sleasman of Perot Systems Government Service; and Michael Schisler of Universities Space Research Associates. This software is available for use. To request a copy, please visit https://software.nasa.gov/software/ARC-16778-1 


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the January, 2017 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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