Satellite communications strategy selection for optimal LEO satellite communication

Bezuidenhout, Quintus (2012-12)

Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A low earth orbit satellite system can be useful in numerous communication applications where physical connections are not possible. Communication time available from any point on earth to the satellite is less than one hour per day. This one hour is fragmented into smaller time slots due to the satellite orbiting. This is not much time to transfer data and there is even less time available to transfer data when there are other external factors affecting the system. It is thus crucial to optimise the satellite communications link so that more data can be transferred per orbit. The goal of this thesis is to improve the performance of a low earth orbit satellite communication channel by varying certain parameters of the system, such as the protocol used, modulation scheme, packet size, transmission power etc. and then to observe how these parameters influence the system. The protocols that were chosen to be implemented are CSMA-CA, CSMA-CA with DSSS technology and Round-Robin Polling. A simulator for each protocol was designed with the Opnet platform, so that specific parameters could be changed and the results observed, in order to optimise the communications link between the satellite and ground stations. The results showed that there is no particular configuration of modulation scheme, packet size, transmission power etc. presenting the best overall solution for LEO satellite communications. It must be considered what the specific LEO satellite application would be used for and the characteristics required by that specific application. A suitable configuration must subsequently be chosen from the set of configurations available to satisfy most of the application requirements.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: ’n Satelliet met ’n lae wentelbaan kan gebruik word in verskeie kommunikasie toepassings waar fisiese verbindinge nie noodwendig moontlik is nie. Die kommunikasietyd van enige punt van aarde af na die satelliet, is minder as een uur per dag. Hierdie tyd word nog verder verklein omdat die satelliet besig is om, om die aarde te wentel. ’n Uur is glad nie baie tyd om data oor te dra nie en in realiteit is daar nog minder tyd beskikbaar as daar eksterne faktore op die sisteem inwerk. Dus is dit baie belangrik om die satelliet kommunikasiekanaal te optimiseer sodat soveel moontlik data as moontlik oorgedra kan word per omwenteling. Die doel van hierdie tesis is om die deurset van die kommunikasiekanaal van n lae wentelbaan satelliet te optimiseer, deur verskeie parameters te verander soos, protokol wat gebruik word, modulasie skema, pakkie grootte, transmissiekrag ens. en dan waar te neem hoe dit die sisteem beïnvloed. Die protokolle wat geïmplementeer is, is CSMA-CA, CSMA-CA met DSSS tegnologie en Round-Robin Polling. ’n Simulator vir elke protokol was ontwerp in die Opnet simulasie platform, sodat die spesifieke parameters verander kon word om die resultate te bestudeer met die doel om die kommunikasiekanaal tussen die satelliet en grond stasies optimaal te benut. Die resultate het bewys dat daar geen spesifieke konfigurasie van modulasie skema, pakkie grootte, transmissiekrag ens. is wat die algehele beste oplossing is nie. Die spesifieke applikasie waarvoor die lae wentelbaan satelliet gaan gebruik word moet geanaliseer word sowel as die spesifieke karakteristieke van daai applikasie. Daarvolgens moet n unieke konfigurasie opgestel word wat meeste van die applikasie se behoeftes bevredig.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/71930
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