Experiment Protocol Boosters Over Inmarsat-ISDN Communication Link

Report No. ARL-TR-3082
Authors: Brian B. Luu and Christopher M. Sadler
Date/Pages: October 2003; 16 pages
Abstract: The International Maritime Satellite (Inmarsat) communication service can be used to provide a wide area network (WAN) connection for a local area network (LAN) to the home LAN from almost anywhere on the earth. The communication link of the WAN connection is achieved through the satellite network of Inmarsat and a land-earth digital telephone network, such as Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN). We determined the throughput data rate of data transmission in the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) environment over the Inmarsat link and compared it with the throughput data rate over a null-modem link (assumed to be error free) for the WAN connection. We also used the protocol boosters that provide forward error correction for the TCP/IP environment to test the improvement of data transmission over the satellite link. Communication over satellite tends to be noisy and delay prone. However, our analysis shows that the Inmarsat satellite-ISDN link is so reliable that the data transmission rate is nearly an error-free link in the TCP/IP network, and the application of forward error correction on the network causes a reduction in the throughput data rate.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: October 1, 2003