Performance Optimisation of

Internet Protocols via Satellite

This project is funded by the European Space Agency and is investigating the issues in providing internet connectivity direct to people's homes using Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) satellite links.

Typical configuration for providing Direct to Home (DTH) Internet delivery using DVB

ESA has outlined a set of five tasks which should be performed as part of the proposed study. These tasks may be associated with various parts of the TCP/IP protocol suite.

  1. Task 1 considers the TCP transport protocol
  2. Task 2 considers the IP network issues
  3. Task 3 the support for specific applications
  4. Task 4 considers the evolution of the Internet towards IPv6
  5. Task 5 considers the evolution of the satellite service itself.

Issues being studied at Aberdeen University

DVB provides IP with a one way transmission path, that may be of high quality and high bandwidth, but since most TCP/IP applications require a full duplex communications path, a return link must be found. In most cases this will be provided by either a low cost satellite return channel or via connection to a local Internet Service Provider (IMP) using a modem.

The research group in Aberdeen are looking at:

  1. The impact of the DVB delivery system on the TCP/IP protocols
  2. The need for the Long Fat Network (LFN) extensions
  3. The effect of asymmetric Internet Paths
  4. The need for Security extensions to guarantee user privacy
  5. The scope for multicast
  6. The potential for evolution to IPv6

The Consortium

The work is to be undertaken by a consortium consisting of Delta Communication Ltd, the University of Aberdeen (Electronics Research Group) and Globecast Maxat.

Delta Communication Ltd will act as prime contractor, project manager and will undertake a number of work packages. The University of Aberdeen will perform protocol analysis and simulation. Globecast Maxat will provide practical experience as a commercial DVB operator and will provide data capacity for trial purposes.

All members of the team have a strong background in satellite communications and are experienced in undertaking challenging technical tasks for professional customers.

About the Team:

Delta Communication was formed in 1992 and has undertaken a large number of projects in the satellite communications field. Delta has an impressive list of professional customers mainly in Europe but also in the USA.

The University of Aberdeen Comunications Group (part of the Electronics Research Group) has an excellent record of first class work in the field of protocol design, evaluation and simulation using satellite links.

Globecast Maxat is one of the United Kingdom's leading providers of satellite and uplink services with a number of earth stations including a major teleport at Brookmans Park near London.

See also MPEG-2 Transmission,DVB Transmission, Index to Future Networks Projects