Adaptation, optimisation and simulation of the CSMA/CA protocol for a low earth orbit satellite UHF link
A low earth orbit satellite is to provide the telecommunications link to facilitate email services to rural areas, where the infrastructure necessary for e-mail is lacking (e.g. no telephone lines). Communication time with this satellite from any particular point on the ground is less than one hour per day. It is thus of utmost importance to maximise the data throughput rate for the system. The contribution of this thesis is to improve the performance of CSMA/CA by adapting and optimising it for the above application. This improved protocol is used to regulate data flow through the system. Specific attention is given to the comparison of various random variable distributions for use as the back-off random variable. Two pieces of software are further contributed. First, a set of MATLAB scripts which are used for comparing various back-off random variable distributions and optimising each of these distributions. Secondly, an extensive (more than 2500 lines of code) OMNeT++ simulation of the improved CSMA/CA protocol, complete with MATLAB scripts for setting up multiple simulation runs and plotting the results. Both pieces of software accept the system constraints as parameters, and are thus easily adaptable for a similar system which may use the same protocol, but has different parameters. It is concluded that the set of MATLAB scripts are a fairly accurate tool for optimising throughput, as is confirmed by the OMNeT++ simulations, and that OMNeT++ has merit for simulating the given type of system and protocol.