Improving Network Performance in Hybrid Wireless Networks Using a Satellite Overlay
Date: September 24 - September 27, 2007
Large wireless networks have the ability to provide rapid connectivity in disaster areas or to interconnect users in far-flung geographical locations. However, limitations on performance and robustness have delayed the adoption of such networks. In this paper, we show that by the addition of a satellite overlay network, the performance and robustness of large-scale wireless networks can be greatly improved and thus make their deployment possible. We define a satellite overlay network as consisting of one or more satellite nodes and multiple terrestrial “gateway” nodes that have interfaces for both satellite links and terrestrial wireless communication. We divide the terrestrial network into multiple “clusters” of wireless nodes, with each cluster being served by one or more gateway nodes. Ordinary terrestrial user nodes reach the gateway node through multi-hop terrestrial paths. We thus propose a design for a hybrid satellite and terrestrial wireless network. Through network modeling and simulation, we show that significant improvement in end-to-end performance is possible in a wireless network when the satellite overlay is present, in comparison to the performance in flat wireless networks. Our results are for both stationary and mobile ground wireless nodes.