During the operational time frame of a nano and pico satellites (eg. CubeSats), seldom is it possible to operate more than a single base station, implying that communications with the satellite is only possible in a short time window.
To maximise the communication time of the base station with a given satellite, a co-operative ad-hoc space network is proposed. Several approaches were proposed for inter-satellite ad-hoc networking; however either they do not take location information into account (resulting in a suboptimal solution) or it is assumed that the orbital parameters of each satellite in the network is known.
The author proposes an new routing protocol for use in inter-satellite ad-hoc networks. The proposed routing protocol exploits the periodic nature of the relative motion of satellites without the need to know either of their orbital parameters.
Simulation results of the new routing protocol are presented, using a specially designed simulator for this purpose. For improved realism of the simulation, the mobility models for the individual satellites where derived from the orbital parameters of existing CubeSat satellites.