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The Internet TCP protocol, part of the TCP/IP suite, is one of the cornerstones of the Internet. However, TCP was not designed for optimising resource usage, and has inherent performance problems over many types of satellite links, in particular mobile links. In order to make efficient use of expensive satellite transponder resources, many satellite communication networks use various types of Dynamic Assignment Multiple Access (DAMA) protocols for allocating resources according to the instantaneous needs of the various data streams in the system. Such protocols are typically found in mobile satellite communication as well as in many VSAT systems. The purpose of the work is threefold:
This proposal addresses long-standing problems in satellite communication. It aims at devising a generally applicable solution to the problems, as well as demonstrating this solution within a real satellite communication system. Although several activities are under way in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to attempt to improve TCP performance over satellite links, no known initiative is looking into replacing TCP with a more suitable protocol (while maintaining application compatibility). In many ESA satellite communications projects, emphasis is put on efficient use of resources, and it is felt that the proposed activity fits well into this picture, and that ESA could have a role world wide in furthering this particular field. Apart from being applicable to mobile satellite and VSAT systems it should also be relevant to terrestrial (cellular) mobile links and wireless LANs.
SaNTA supports the following features:
The project was successfully completed in November 2005.
Following extensive tests in a lab environment as well as over a satellite link, the project was successfully completed in November 2005.