A telecommunications technique used by modern spacecraft that has superceded the older method of time-division multiplexing. In packetizing, a burst or "packet" of data is transmitted from one onboard instrument or sensor, followed by a packet from another device, and so on, in a non-specific order. Each burst carries an identification of the measurement it represents so that the ground data system can recognize it and handle it appropriately. The scheme adheres to the International Standards Organization (ISO)'s Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) protocol suite that recommends how different types of computer can intercommunicate. Being independent of distance, the ISO OSI holds equally for spacecraft light-hours away as it does for local workstations.
Related category• SPACECRAFT COMMUNICATIONS AND TRACKING
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