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Dropped connections pose threat

WASHINGTON, April 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said a program designed to prevent the dangers of a lost data signal in combat is making progress.

The loss of a satellite connection because of difficult terrain or other interferences can be a serious security threat in combat situations. DARPA's Disruption Tolerant Networking program, which was launched in 2006, is part of an effort by the Defense Department to prevent communication-signal disruptions in hostile environments, the American Forces Press Service reported.

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The program is based on a NASA concept that addresses challenges posed by satellite interplanetary communications and the frequent unpredictability of war zones.

Officials said Disruption Tolerant Networking is designed to hold on to data if a connection is broken and deliver the information when communications are re-established, which avoids the loss of potentially critical information.

"In DTN, if the network can't deliver it right away, it doesn't throw it away," Preston Marshall, DTN program manager, told the official news service.

"It takes responsibility for the material until it delivers it," Marshall said. "So it's a very common-sense way to run networks."

Marshall said Disruption Tolerant Networking is making progress toward potential implementation and is currently in its final phase of development.

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