Routing and Multicast Algorithms for LEO Satellite Networks

    Supported by: National Science Foundation (NSF)




 
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  Overview

Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite systems provide global coverage with short round trip delays. Moreover, Earth terminals can reach the LEO satellites with low-power signals, which simplifies their design and reduces their size. Hence, local networks and individual terminals can be connected to the rest of the world over LEO satellite networks simply by installing small satellite interfaces. With these properties, LEO satellite systems play a crucial role in the global Internet to support real-time and non-real time applications. Routing and multicasting in LEO satellite systems are the key issues to support these services.

The objective of this project is to develop new and efficient routing protocols for unicast and multicast applications with different traffic types and heterogeneous QoS requirements. The existing solutions developed for fixed networks cannot be applied to the satellite network because they cannot handle the frequent topological changes of the LEO satellite systems. On the other hand, the solutions developed for terrestrial mobile ad hoc networks incur high protocol overhead since they do not consider nodes with predictive movement patterns. The novelty of the new protocols developed in this project is that they effectively capture the movement patterns of LEO satellites and their interconnectivity structure while keeping the protocol overhead at a minimum level and delivering high performance. These protocols can easily be implemented in software or firmware onboard the satellites and configured for various satellite constellations and parameters. Consequently, they constitute a strong and flexible set of solutions to the routing and multicasting problem in LEO satellite networks.