Satellite Networking Performance and Efficiency

Course Length:



This two-day course is designed for satellite engineers and managers in military, government and industry who need to increase their understanding of how to reduce satellite networking costs in mission critical applications. IP has become the worldwide standard for converged data, video, voice communications in military and commercial applications. Satellites extend the reach of the Internet and mission-critical Intranets. Satellites deliver multicast content anywhere in the world. New generation, high throughput satellites (HTS) provide lower cost transport for IP. With these benefits come challenges. Satellite delay and bit errors can impact performance. Satellite links must be integrated with terrestrial networks. IP protocols create overheads. Encryption creates overheads. Space segment has been expensive (but HTS provides the potential for significant cost reduction). There are routing and security issues. This course explains techniques that can mitigate these challenges, including traffic engineering, quality of service, WAN optimization devices, TDMA DAMA to capture statistical multiplexing gains, improved satellite modulation and coding, what applications are most amenable to support from HTS. Quantitative techniques for understanding throughput and response time are presented. System diagrams describe the satellite/terrestrial interface. Case histories illustrate methods for optimizing the design of converged real-world networks to produce responsive networks while minimizing the use and cost of satellite resources. The course notes provide an up-to-date reference. An extensive bibliography is supplied.

What you will learn:

  • The impact of IP overheads and the off the shelf devices available to reduce this impact: WAN optimizers, header compression, voice and video compression, performance enhancement proxies, voice multiplexers, caching, satellite-based IP multicasting.
  • How to deploy Quality of Service (QoS) mechanisms and use traffic engineering to ensure maximum performance (fast response time, low packet loss, low packet delay and jitter) over communication links
  • How to use satellites as essential elements in mission critical data networks, with emphasis on the use of new generation HTS.
  • How to understand and overcome the impact of propagation delay and bit errors on throughput and response time in satellite-based IP networks.
  • Impact of new coding and modulation techniques on bandwidth efficiency – more bits per second per hertz
  • How adaptive coding and modulation (ACM) can improve bandwidth efficiency
  • How to link satellite and terrestrial circuits to create hybrid IP networks
  • How to use statistical multiplexing to reduce the cost and amount of satellite resources that support converged voice, video, data networks with strict performance requirements
  • Link budget tradeoffs in the design of TDM/TDMA DAMA networks
  • How to select the appropriate system architectures for Internet access, enterprise and content delivery networks
  • The impact on cost and performance of new technology, such as LEOs, Ka band, on-board processing, inter-satellite links, traffic optimization devices, high throughput satellites.

After taking this course you will understand how to implement highly efficient satellite-based networks that provide Internet access, multicast content delivery services, and mission-critical Intranet services to users around the world.

Course Outline:

  1. Introduction
  2. Brief Overview of Data Networking and Internet Protocols. Seven Layer Model (ISO). The Internet Protocol (IP). Addressing, Routing, Multicasting. Impact of bit errors and propagation delay on TCP-based applications. User Datagram Protocol (UDP). Introduction to higher level services. NAT and tunneling. Use of encryptors such as HAIPE and IPSec.
  3. Quality of Service Issues in the Internet. QoS factors for streams and files. Performance of voice over IP (VOIP). Video issues. Response time for web object retrievals using HTTP. Methods for improving QoS: MPLS, DiffServ. Use of WAN optimizers, header compression, caching to reduce impact of data redundancies and IP overheads. Performance enhancing proxies reduce impact of satellite delay. Network Management and Security issues including impact of encryption in IP networks.
  4. Satellite Data Networking Architectures. GEO and LEO satellite overview. The link budget, modulation and coding techniques. Methods for improving satellite link efficiency (bits per second/Hz)–including adaptive coding and modulation (ACM) and overlapped carriers. Ground station architectures for data networking: Point to Point, Point to Multipoint using satellite hubs. Shared outbound carriers incorporating DVB. Return channels for shared outbound systems: TDMA, CDMA, Aloha, DVB/RCS. Full mesh networks. Military, commercial standards for DAMA systems. The difference between high throughput satellites and conventional satellites.
  5. System Design Issues. Mission critical Intranet issues including asymmetric routing, reliable multicast, impact of user mobility: small antennas and pointing errors, low efficiency and data rates, traffic handoff, hub-assist mitigations. Comm. on the move vs. comm. on the halt. Military and commercial content delivery case histories.
  6. Predicting Performance in Mission Critical Networks. Queuing models to help predict response time based on workload, performance requirements and channel rates. Single server, priority queues and multiple server queues.
  7. Design Case Histories Integrating voice and data requirements in mission-critical networks using TDMA/DAMA. Start with offered-demand and determine how to wring out data redundancies. Create statistical multiplexing gains by use of TDMA DAMA. Optimize space segment requirements using link budget tradeoffs. Determine savings that can accrue from ACM. Investigate hub assist in mobile networks with small antennas. Determine which applications are best served by HTS.
  8. A View of the Future. Impact of Ka-band and spot beam satellites. Benefits and issues associated with Onboard Processing. New concepts for LEO, MEO, GEOs. Descriptions of current and proposed commercial and military satellite systems including MUOS, GBS, the new generation of commercial high throughput satellites, which promise order of magnitude cost reduction for many applications. Howe these can be used in military and mission critical commercial applications. New generation of low-cost ground station technology.


REGISTRATION:  There is no obligation or payment required to enter the Registration for an actively scheduled course.   We understand that you may need approvals but please register as early as possible or contact us so we know of your interest in this course offering.

SCHEDULING:  If this course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses and you are interested in attending this or another course as an open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or Please indicate the course name, number of students who wish to participate. and a preferred time frame. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a 3-5 month lead-time.   To express your interest in an open enrollment course not on our current schedule, please email us at

For on-site pricing, you can use the request an on-site quote form, call us at (410)956-8805, or email us at


  • Burt H. Liebowitz is Principal Network Engineer at the MITRE Corporation, McLean, Virginia, specializing in the analysis of wireless services. He has more than 30 years experience in computer networking, the last ten of which have focused on Internet-over-satellite services in demanding military and commercial applications. He was President of NetSat Express Inc., a leading provider of such services. Before that he was Chief Technical Officer for Loral Orion, responsible for Internet-over-satellite access products. Mr. Liebowitz has authored two books on distributed processing and numerous articles on computing and communications systems. He has lectured extensively on computer networking. He holds three patents for a satellite-based data networking system. Mr. Liebowitz has B.E.E. and M.S. in Mathematics degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and an M.S.E.E. from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn.

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