Apr 1st 2014

Devicescape & Cornell Explore Wi-Fi on Mars

London, UK, April 1, 2014Devicescape, the company curating the world’s largest Wi-Fi service platform, today announced the company will sponsor Cornell Mars Rover, a team of Cornell University students competing in the University Rover Challenge, to design and build the next generation of Mars rovers that will one day work alongside human explorers in the field.

Analysis of recent data transmitted from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed the presence of what appear to be Wi-Fi signals in the vicinity of the planet. All radio transmissions are subject to signal degradation, explained by inverse square law, but it is believed that the weak signals detected can only be remnants of earth-based communications. If that proves to be the case, the potential for a permanent communications network between the planets exists.

As part of the sponsorship deal, the Cornell students have been tasked with incorporating Devicescape’s advanced Wi-Fi curation technologies and machine learning algorithms into the Rover design. This will enable an assessment of the potential for aggregating and magnifying the signals to create a viable interplanetary Wi-Fi network. A Curated Virtual Network on Mars, using modified Wi-Fi technologies, would extend capacity reach and coverage to allow for a much wider range of scientific investigation and experiment.

Commenting on the sponsorship, Dave Fraser, Devicescape CEO said, “Devicescape is already responsible for creating the world’s largest Wi-Fi service platform, and it makes sense to use our expertise in this new field of discovery. Although it is a long-term aim, an effective and open communications platform with Mars will be essential to share data and intellectual resources between the earth-based and remote teams.”

The sponsorship will be Fraser’s second experience of space exploration. He was previously CMO of Wind River, the company that developed the operating system for the previous Mars Rover, which began exploring the Red Planet in 2004.