New concepts for hybrid satellite networks

Frequentis teams with ESA ARTES Programme

- Vienna, Austria

Frequentis was awarded the contract to develop a cross-layer Quality-of-Service (QoS) routing testbed for hybrid (terrestrial-satellite) networks. The results will enable satellite service providers to offer flexible and dynamic services for different users and networks, allowing seamless integration into hybrid IP networks and increasing availability of service.

Frequentis is actively participating in research programmes to develop and evaluate future technical concepts. In this case the company brings its expertise in design, integration and operation of air traffic management networks focusing on IP-based end-to-end network solutions for safety-critical applications.

For the ARTES (Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems) programme of the European Space Agency (ESA) Frequentis was awarded the contract to develop a cross-layer Quality-of-Service (QoS) routing testbed for hybrid networks. It enables the evaluation of different routing algorithms, network performance measurements and link supervision. For safety-critical networks, such as ATM-grade networks, parallel routing paths and mobility of services are important. Considering real-time information of the actual network performance allows for preventing failures in network links before occurring.

To integrate satellite and terrestrial networks into a single backbone infrastructure for all applications – operational as well as administrative – is challenging. Every application has different performance needs. The characteristics of satellite and terrestrial networks are completely different: satellite band-width is very expensive but available everywhere, latencies are higher but more stable and routing protocols and timings need to be aligned. Information from multiple network layers (cross-layer) for a QoS-based routing is essential for ATM-grade network performance”, explains Stefan Galler, Product Manager for ATM networks at Frequentis.

With its ARTES programme, ESA ensures that investment in space deliver benefits to all citizens and is coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members to support programmes and activities across countries. The goal is to develop successful commercial products deriving from this flexible framework of activities.

The ARTES 5.1 activities in which Frequentis is participating are dedicated to “Advanced technology” to generate long-term technological deployments based on an annually established work plan. This assignment is another opportunity for Frequentis to showcase its expertise in IP and end-to-end ATM-grade network solutions which enable cost-effective scaling. To deliver end-to-end performance for every application requires the combination of real-time network performance monitoring and multi-technology networks.

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