John S. Baras


Return Channel Performance Evaluation of Enhanced SAMA VSAT and FMCSA and ACM Capability

S. Perumal, J.S Baras, A. Roy-Chodhury, H. Petluri, M. Robinson

Proceedings of the 17th Ka and Broadband Communications, Navigation and Earth Observation Conference, pp. 417-424, Palermo, Italy, October 3-5, 2011.


In this paper, we describe our work on developing and evaluating detailed OPNET simulation models of an enhanced Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) satellite Internet gateway and an enhanced satellite hub based on Cerona SkySPAN technology with capacity and latency optimizations in the return channel so as to allow significantly higher number of users and a better user experience. The Cerona SkySPAN technology uses Digital Video Broadcast via Satellite 2nd standard (DVB-S2) in the forward channel and Spread Aloha Multiple Access (SAMA) protocol in the return channel. We augment the SAMA return channel protocol with Fast Multi-Channel Slotted Aloha (FMCSA) protocol and Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM). FMCSA combines Multi-Channel Slotted Aloha (MCSA) with packet level forward error correction (FEC) for new messages and scheduled retransmissions for partially received messages. This protocol increases the maximum possible throughput of SAMA, thus supporting higher number of users. FMCSA also reduces the delay of multi-slot short messages (e.g., HTTP requests) while providing more robust delay performance with respect to load fluctuations, thus resulting in a better user experience. We incorporate Adaptive Coding and Modulation in the return channel in order to automatically adapt the coding and modulation to changing channel conditions so as to ensure remote data service irrespective of the channel degradation due to interference, rain fade or other conditions. We show via OPNET simulations that the enhanced SAMA VSAT with FMCSA and ACM improves the throughput, latency and robustness of the SkySPAN SAMA system. We also compare, via OPNET simulations, the enhanced SAMA system (with FMCSA and ACM) with a DVBRCS system to show improvements in user experience.


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