SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK DESIGN AND ANALYSIS PDF

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Satellite Communications Network Design And Analysis Pdf

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A communications satellite is an artificial satellite that relays and Indian Space Research Satellite communications also provide connection to the. Radio waves travel in straight lines at the microwave frequencies used for. June 1, Fig. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research. The Aerospace Corporation demonstrated an optical downlink from a 1. Even optical links from the Moon to Earth have been demonstrated [ 33 ].

Practical implementations of current optical communication systems for small satellite applications may reach data rates of about with a terminal weight in the order of and a power consumption of about. The terminal weighs in the order of , consumes of electrical power, and requires only 0.

It reaches a data rate of. An important challenge in optical satellite-to-ground communications is the limited availability due to clouds. This can be overcome by employing a world-wide network of optical ground stations. By using a sufficient buffer memory onboard the satellites, this enables overcoming the issues due to limited availability of the space-to-ground link [ 36 ].

Although most optical ground stations available to date have been developed mainly for research purposes, both new and established ground segment operators have expressed strong interest in building up the required infrastructure.

Thus, it is only a matter of time until optical links can be used in an operational manner, even in small-satellite applications. Towards SDR Payloads Since the early development of small satellites, one trend in the payload design can be identified: privileging the use of low-cost COTS and in general HW components and moving towards a digital implementation.

SDR is an evolution of flexible and reconfigurable payloads. An early adopter of reconfigurable technology for space applications was the Australian FedSat microsatellite communications payload launched in The FedSat communications payload utilized Field Programmable Gate Array FPGA components for baseband digital signal processing and included a code upload mode allowing it to be reprogrammed while in orbit [ 9 ]. SDR payloads are considered as a needed technological step in traditional satellite systems for assuring a longer lifetime and a more efficient resource utilization [ 37 ], even if so far, few SDR payloads have flown on big satellites.

For small satellites, which are designed with few years of lifetime in mind, the reason for moving towards SDR payloads is mainly related to the offered flexibility to adapt to new science opportunities and potentially reducing development cost and risk through reuse of common space platforms to meet specific mission requirements. SDR can be used to support multiple signals, increase data rates over reliable intersatellite and ground links to Earth, and also help in facing the shortage of available frequencies for communications in the more crowded bands.

The challenge of this more digital approach is related to one of the strong limitations of a small satellite: power consumption. For this reason, FPGA has been preferred so far, especially for higher data rates in the X- and Ka-band, as they allow performing compute intensive tasks in parallel and use more efficiently every clock cycle [ 38 ]. Few SDRs have already flown in small satellites and other are under development, e.

It is definitely a hot topic of research and development, and there is growing interest in developing and testing new solutions. Pinto et al. In [ 40 ], a novel SDR architecture on an embedded system is proposed, whose potential applications are the ground station for multisatellite communications, deployable mobile ground station network, and can be further extended to distributed satellite system. A new generation of SDR technologies have been integrated in the SCAN Testbed Space Communications and Navigation Testbed , which is an advanced integrated communications system and laboratory facility to be installed on the International Space Station ISS , to develop, test, and demonstrate new communications, networking, and navigation capabilities in the space environment [ 41 ].

New Telecommunication Architectures Small satellites are playing an increasingly important role in telecommunication architectures in two main ways: i They are increasingly used to form application-focused segments of the infrastructure supporting existing communication architectures, notably the Internet. As Supporting Infrastructure The use of Earth-orbiting satellites to conduct Internet traffic is of course not new. What is new is the use of large numbers of small satellites for this purpose.

The field has grown rapidly in recent years as new concepts are proposed; many of them highly ambitious: i The OneWeb constellation is initially expected to comprise small Internet service delivery satellites in LEO orbit, potentially growing to satellites [ 42 ]. As Participants in New Architectures In addition to supporting the propagation of traffic within the Internet, however, small satellites require new, increasingly capable telecommunication architectures to sustain their own operations.

Coordination among satellites in LEO orbit relies on cross-links between satellites, relay services provided by ground stations typically via the terrestrial Internet , or a combination of both. Moving farther, the twin MARCO spacecrafts each a 6U CubeSat accompanying the InSight spacecraft on its mission to Mars will primarily serve to relay information from the InSight lander to its mission operations center on Earth, while the lander is engaged in entering the atmosphere of Mars, descending to the surface, and landing.

Each MARCO can use only one of these links at a time, so the communication architecture will be very different from the continuous end-to-end connectivity that characterizes Internet traffic. Projecting that deviation from the Internet traffic model back to high-volume terrestrial communications, a satellite communications architecture that is designed to tolerate the associated delays in end-to-end communication on a large scale has been proposed.

The constellation operates as follows: i A user at a cold spot node issues data in a bundle such as an email message or an HTTP proxy query. The node queues the bundle up for transmission to the next courier that flies overhead [ 48 ].

The courier and cold spot begin communications using BP over LTP Licklider Transmission Protocol [ 49 ]; see more details in the next section over whatever radio frequencies are available. All other bundles are queued for transmission to the next hot spot the courier will fly over.

Otherwise, the hot spot consults the contact schedule to determine which courier has the earliest scheduled contact with the destination cold spot and then reconsults the contact schedule to determine which hot spot has the earliest scheduled contact with that courier.

When a courier flies overhead, it exchanges bundles with the courier. When the courier subsequently flies over a cold spot, it exchanges bundles with it in the same way, and so on.

The concept offers a number of advantages: i Unlike a crosslink-based routing-fabric constellation, there is no need to orbit the whole constellation all at once in order to get data moving.

The network could begin with one hot spot, one cold spot, and one courier. In that case, the round-trip time for the cold spot would be very long as there would be only one contact per N orbits of the satellite, where N is however many orbits would be needed to bring the cold spot back into the satellites ground track. Nonetheless, bidirectional data flow between the cold spot and any point on the Internet would be reliably supported, albeit at very low effective data rates.

As more satellites are added, the frequency of coverage of any given cold spot increases and N drops, which increases the carrying capacity of the network as a whole the aggregate storage capacity of all the couriers , so that the number of cold spots supported can increase.

This means that small, mass-produced satellites can be suitable as couriers. As a conclusion, this SmallSat-based architecture could enable very widely available network data service at low cost, starting with a very modest initial investment.

Integration with Terrestrial Architectures The potentials offered by Small- and CubeSats constellations from a service point of view have to be analysed from a wider angle in order to consider the data availability from different stakeholders.

In the case of processing centres placed nearby control centres or in any case directly connected to them via dedicated terrestrial infrastructure, the architecture design may essentially consist in the extension of the exemplary one illustrated in the previous subsections.

This can be achieved by terminating the proposed DTN architecture directly at the processing centres or by making use of specialised gateways capable of interfacing native DTN architectures with non-DTN aware counterpart i. On the other hand, the increasing interest towards the service provided by small satellite constellations may result in distributing data to enterprises, universities, schools, public authorities, and single users for different applications e.

In this context, data retrieval will likely happen over Internet terrestrial infrastructure, hence calling for proper integration strategies to be deployed between the ground segment of the small satellite system and the core terrestrial network. This integration task can be easily considered in the broader plan of converging satellite and 5G networks [ 50 ] and papers included in that special issue , which has recently become a hot topic for the satellite industry.

Without entering the details of the architecture proposals [ 51 ] elaborated to meet this goal, it is of pivotal importance to provide a flexible integrated architecture. Still related to the objective of distributing small satellite data across the Internet is providing the network architecture with content-oriented functions in order to differentiate QoS management and routing functions applied to the data objects obtained from the small satellite systems.

Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing

This may suggest the application of the existing Information Centric Networking architectures [ 52 ], whose baseline concept should be however adapted in order to meet the content characteristics of the data objects retrieved from the satellite systems and to interface with the network architecture e.

In more detail, ICN-based architectures build on publish-subscribe pub-sub paradigms, so that users subscribe to content distributions services and accordingly contents are distributed upon request reception.

One of the main peculiarities of ICN networks is in that contents are explicitly mapped to object names, which enable more advanced content-aware routing and security schemes. Moreover, this approach helps implement a content-centric networking approach, hence superseding the typically employed host-centric approach i.

Another intrinsic key advantage of ICN networks is to implement distributed caching functionalities throughout the entire network, hence possibly simplifying the integration of MEC Multi-Access Edge Computing and Cloud Computing functionalities, which are pivotal building blocks in the modern communication networks. ICN functionalities are typically supported by specialised networking elements, i. As a matter of fact, the coexistence of DTN- and ICN-based protocol architectures in the same network deployment is possible in order to exploit the main advantage offered by the two with respect to disruption resilience and caching, although specific adaptations of the protocol interfaces are necessary not treated in this paper as beyond the scope.

Advances in Communications and Network Protocols New protocols for communication with and among small satellites have emerged rapidly in the past decade. The new capabilities are provided at multiple layers of the protocol stack. Given the low requirements in terms of data rate of most of the original, mainly scientific, missions, simple modulation schemes have been used, such as binary-FSK [ 53 , 54 ].

It is also worth outlining that the AX. The emerging need for transmitting at higher data rate and keeping low mass and weight is pushing to use larger bandwidths and higher-frequency bands, as reported in Section 4 , but also to use more efficiently the available bandwidths through more advanced modulations schemes.

Moreover, the shift towards SDR payload and ground stations, made possible by the rapid evolution of digital electronics, opens the opportunity to implement more advanced communication protocols and modulation schemes, including error correction capabilities and dynamic adaptation of modulation parameters depending on the current link conditions [ 55 ].

This has motivated some theoretical studies on the choice of the most appropriate modulations [ 56 , 57 ]. On the design of intersatellite link, it is worth mentioning the recent studies on the use of Visible Light Communications VLCs , which can provide higher data rates with smaller, light-weight nodes, while avoiding the usual interference problems associated with RF, as well as the apparent radio spectrum scarcity below the 6 GHz band. Furthermore, the electronics required for achieving precision pointing accuracy for laser communication systems will be avoided.

With approximately THz of free bandwidth available for VLC, high capacity data transmission rates could be provided over short distances using arrays of LEDs [ 60 ]. It also provides mechanisms for aggregating small service data units and segmenting those aggregations, for extensive control over the sizes of protocol data units. Security is rapidly becoming an urgent concern of space flight mission designers, as security breaches at ground stations and mission operations centers served by the Internet grow ever more troublesome.

SDLS provides a security standard for simple space flight missions, where a single spacecraft is in contact with its control center through a ground station. It includes data origin authentication, connection and connectionless confidentiality, connection integrity with and without recovery, and connectionless integrity.

The effects of high delay and of disconnection are in fact similar in many ways, and the network architecture features developed for DTN serve to mitigate both. The central fact in both circumstances is the potential inability of each network node to request timely assistance from any other, for any purpose, and at any given moment.

The unifying principle in the design of the features of DTN, then, is recognition of this fact. Nodes must be able to make their own operational decisions locally, on their own, with global information that may well be stale or incomplete, and the network must be able to continue to operate at some useful level even when these decisions are flawed.

BP is similar to IP in that a BP node receives data issued by an application entity, stores the data in some medium, and forwards the data through the network toward the node serving the application entity that is the destination of the data. Both LTP and TCP account for transmitted data, detecting data loss and automatically recovering from that loss by retransmitting segments as necessary. The principal difference between LTP and TCP is this: i In TCP, the entity that discovers and reports data loss is the TCP instance serving the application entity that is the destination of the data, and the data loss is reported to the TCP instance that serves the application entity that was the source of the data.

In LTP, data loss is instead reported to the LTP instance at the proximate source of the data the immediately prior BP node on the end-to-end path , which retransmits the lost segments as early as possible. Complementary to the use of DTN protocol solution is the exploitation of network coding NC [ 62 ] for improving the robustness of data transmission as well as optimised use of the available network resources i.

Taking as reference the case of Ring Road network model for small satellite constellations, network coding can be applied on all the network nodes i. In this case, network coding functionalities would actually consist in online on fly encoding and decoding functions.

In more detail, each NC-enabled node will be in charge of collecting a given number of information packets and to encode them so as to generate a certain number of redundancy packets, where the overall network coding configuration plays an important role in what concerns both the specific number of input information and output redundancy packets as well as the adopted coding strategy [ 62 ]. In this respect, the use of random linear network coding has gained quite some popularity in the last two decades, so that it is nowadays considered on the most appealing approach to implement NC in real network deployments.

In particular, the application on random linear network coding of data chunks to be dumped to ground stations would help increase the reliability of data exchange against sporadic fluctuations of the transmission channel quality. Moreover, the network coding can be also exploited to transmit a reduced number of data packets, hence improving the actual bandwidth utilisation.

This advantage can be particularly relevant if multicast data communications are exploited [ 64 , 65 ], so that the performance advantages recognised for network coding can be fully exploited. On the other hand, in spite of the aforementioned advantages, it is also worth considering the complexity implications arising from the implementation of network coding on the space segment [ 66 ]. As a matter of fact, network coding implementation requires some dedicated computation capability for online coding functions as well as specific on-board storage to keep temporary copies of the data chunks being subject to encoding or decoding procedures.

Moreover, some attention has to be also paid to the protocol layer wherein network coding is being applied, so that often either i layered or ii integrated approaches are considered [ 67 ]. In the former, NC is implemented as a dedicated shim layer placed in between existing protocol layers in order to have a limited increase in the overall system implementation. In the latter, instead, NC functionalities have to be incorporated in an existing protocol, hence increasing the overall implementation complexity.

Another point relates to the actual position of NC functionalities in a protocol stack, for which no specific consensus has been reached yet. On the one hand, it would be desirable to keep NC implementation as much closer as possible to the lower layers of the protocol stack i.

On the other hand, implementing NC in the upper layers of the protocol stack would help matching more precisely the characteristics of data services and eventually also meet the corresponding QoS requirements.

In this respect, a good compromise could be to implement NC functionalities directly within the bundle protocol or immediately beneath it as part of any of the convergence layers i. As such, it is immediate to see that all these requirements have to be properly taken into account in the full system design, with respect to the capabilities offered by existing satellite payloads and the actual service requirements to be targeted by the considered system.

Another interesting point related to the use of network coding in the proposed network architecture is about their use in the form of [ 67 ] for mitigating packet losses. In this case, network coding is not implemented throughout the entire network, but only limited to the network legs exhibiting more challenges from a communication reliability point of view. As such, no re-encoding functionalities are necessary as those made possible by random linear network coding and on the contrary classical packet layer FEC solutions can be considered, i.

Bibliographic Information

In this respect, some proposals have been already worked out by CCSDS with reference to the case of erasure codes applied space downlinks [ 67 ], where the potential of LDPC-based erasure codes was exploited especially for the case of free-space optical link communications.

Other activities looking into implementation of network coding for intersatellite links have been also considered, although the aforementioned constraints coming from the space segments were not completely taken into account, hence requiring additional study for a deeper understanding of all underlying implications and requirements.

Perspectives and Open Challenges The paper has reviewed the state of the art of small satellite systems, highlighting the distinctive features enabling novel applications and focusing on telecommunication services. However, several challenges must be faced yet, which are summarized in the following.

Both for high frequency RF transmission and for FSO, this issue could be overcome by providing a ground network with a high number of ground stations at highly diverse sites. The concept of site diversity has been extensively studied in the field of High Throughput Satellite HTS , and recent works have highlighted the fact that SDN paradigm could provide the gateways implementing the concept of Smart Diversity, a high level of reconfigurability that could allow efficient resources allocation during traffic switching events [ 68 ].

In view of emerging system constraints, the implementation in small satellites of the scheduled and random-access MAC protocols adopted in existing satellite networks needs further investigation. Definition is needed for interoperable application-layer protocols to be employed on top of the lower layer satellite protocols, addressing a wide range of application scenarios and traffic data configurations.

Due to the frequent topology changes in a CubeSat network, successful data delivery will require ample long-term storage at intermediate nodes to deal with satellite link disruptions.

Telemetry, command and control messages, and mission specific data are sent through radio links.

Therefore, security concerns arise. CubeSats are susceptible to Denial of Service DoS attacks as well as eavesdropping and data can be accessed by unauthorized user.

The attacker could send spurious commands causing excessive resources consumption, data loss, or mission failure.

Security challenges are exasperated by the use of SDR payload which opens the possibility of placing new software on the SDR unit through unauthorized and potentially malicious software installed on the platform [ 69 ].download Custom. The space segment e. Space Link Analysis with Transponder Characteristics. The transponders on the satellite provide a This article presents a design approach and analysis of key signal boost and frequency translation of signals for the ground satellite communications SATCOM network parameters terminals.

Yelten, F. Brunnenmeyer, D. Paker, C.