The key objective of this project is clearly the investigation of the influence of an introduction of the new Internet Protocol IPv6 on today's satellite communication.
For this purpose one objective is to gain a first overview of the influence of link layer, network layer, transport layer, and network management protocol IPv6 issues on satellite networks. Knowing and understanding these IPv6 issues is the required basis before starting the introduction of IPv6 in satellite networks. After this another object is the specification of transition scenarios for different satellite architectures, which allows a smooth integration of IPv6.
Besides the theoretical research another goal of the study is to perform first real demonstrations of IPv6 over satellite. This will allow to illustrate the subject of IPv6 over satellite to a broad audience, to raise the awareness for it, and to foster collaboration, e.g. between service provider, manufacturer, and future user.
Finally one object is to have a set of recommendations for the next steps required towards a full integration of IPv6 in satellite networks. Such a roadmap can be used by service provider and manufacturer, but also by ESA itself to assist in the planning of future work.
One of the key issues of this project is certainly the identification of several satellite specific link layer, network layer, transport layer, and management protocol issues for IPv6.
Another key issue is the investigation of IPv6 transition mechanisms for different satellite network architectures.
Finally a third key issue is the real demonstration of IPv6 over satellite. For this purpose illustrating and convincing demonstration scenarios are investigated, including IPv6 capable DVB-S equipment provided by other ESA projects. To be able to provide large scale demonstration reaching a broad audience, collaboration with other IPv6 or satellite activities is aspired.
The following are the expected main benefits of this project:
- Provision of an overview of satellite specific link layer, network layer, transport layer, and network management protocol issues for IPv6. This overview is necessary to understand the current status of influence of IPv6 to satellite networks, and therefore provides the required basis know-how for the remaining project work.
- Provision of transition scenarios for different satellite network architectures. These scenarios will illustrate the stepwise introduction of IPv6.
- Overview of required service modifications and new service possibilities as a consequence of the introduction of IPv6.
- Performance of first IPv6 demonstration over satellite. Together with the dissemination activities this illustrates the subject to a broad audience and thereby helps to raise awareness and to foster collaboration between different parties.
- Provision of a roadmap highlighting the next steps required for the introduction of IPv6 into satellite networks, together with recommendations about how to achieve them.
There is no single architecture specified or used within this project. Instead for different satellite architectures transition scenarios for the introduction of IPv6 are investigated. Furthermore architectures are specified for the different demonstration scenarios.
The following tasks are performed in this project:
- Identification of satellite specific link layer, network layer, transport layer, and management protocol issues for IPv6.
- Investigation of the impact of IPv6 on existing and future satellite network architectures and services.
- Specification of IPv6 transition scenarios for satellite network architectures.
- Identification of possible demonstration scenarios for IPv6 over satellite.
- Selection of and specification of IPv6 pilot demonstration.
- Integration and execution of IPv6 pilot demonstration.
- Identification of an IPv6 roadmap and recommendation for satellite networks.
- Dissemination of project activities and results.
The project is completed. The main achievements of the project are:
- The majority of satellite specific link layer, network layer, transport layer, and management protocol issues for IPv6 have been identified.
- The impact of IPv6 on existing and future satellite network architectures has been investigated, architectural shortcomings have been addressed and potential solutions have been outlined. These solutions include mechanisms to cope with problems resulting from unidirectional links as well as suitable transition methods for networks deploying not IPv6-ready devices. Furthermore, the impact of IPv6 on services has been identified and new or modified service possibilities have been described.
- For two teleport networks, the first representing a DVB-S/SCPC architecture and the second using a DVB-S/RCS system, detailed transition plans have been investigated, each covering short term solutions using transition methods, long term solutions requiring the replacement or update of not IPv6-enabled devices, and efforts and costs for transition.
- n order to illustrate native IPv6 deployment over satellite, two pilot demonstrations have been specified, implemented and performed. Both demonstrations used IPv6-capable DVB-S equipment developed in other ESA projects. The first demonstration was to show the usability of advanced services like IPsec, Mobile IPv6, and audio and video conferencing in a native IPv6 satellite network. For the second demonstration the SILK network, connecting academic and educational institutions residing in the Central Asian and Caucasian region to a hub station in Hamburg via DVB-S forward and SCPC return links, has been enhanced to support native IPv6 communication.
- The project and its results have been disseminated in various fora and working groups related to satellite communication and IPv6, such as the ESA IP networking workshop, IPv6 Forum and Cluster events or the Asian Pacific Advanced Networking Conference.
- Finally, a roadmap for the introduction of IPv6 in satellite networks has been identified, containing recommendations for future standardisation, dissemination, and deployment activities.