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In this paper, as part of the adaptive resource allocation and management (ARAM) system (Alagoz, 2001), we propose an adaptive admission control strategy, which is aimed at combating link congestion and compromised channel conditions inherent in multimedia satellite networks. We present the performance comparisons of a traditional (fixed) admission control strategy versus the new adaptive admission control strategy for a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) network with return channel system (DBS-RCS). Performance comparisons are done using the ARAM simulator. The traffic mix in the simulator includes both available bit rate (ABR) traffic and variable bit rate (VBR) traffic. The dynamic channel conditions in the simulator reflect time variant error rates due to external effects such as rain. In order to maximize the resource utilization, both for fixed and adaptive approaches, assignment of the VBR services are determined based on the estimated statistical multiplexing and other system attributes, namely, video source, data transmission, and channel coding rates. In this paper, we focus on the admission control algorithms and assess their impact on quality-of-service (QoS) and forward link utilization of DBS-RCS. We show that the proposed adaptive admission control strategy is profoundly superior to the traditional admission control strategy with only a marginal decrease in QoS. Since the ARAM system has several parameters and strategies that play key roles in terms of the performance measures, their sensitivity analysis are also studied to verify the above foundations.