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Recently, IP satellite networks have attracted considerable interest as a technology to deliver high-bandwidth IP-based multimedia services to nationwide areas. In particular, IP satellite networks seem to be one of the most promising technologies for connecting users in rural areas, where a wired high-speed network (e.g., xDSL) is not foreseen to be used. However, one of the main problems arising here is to guarantee specific quality of service constraints in order to have good performance for each traffic class. Among various QoS approaches used in the Internet, recently the DiffServ technique has become the most promising solution, mainly for its scalability with respect to the IntServ approach. Moreover, in satellite communication systems, DiffServ computational capabilities are placed at the edge points, reducing the implementation complexity of the satellite onboard equipment. This article deals with the problem of QoS provisioning for packet traffic by considering some resource allocation schemes, including bandwidth allocation techniques and priority-driven onboard switching algorithms. As to the first aim, the proposed technique takes advantage of proper statistical traffic modeling to predict future bandwidth requests. This approach takes into consideration DiffServ-based traffic management to guarantee QoS priority among different users. Moreover, the satellite onboard switching problem has been addressed by considering a suitable implementation of the DiffServ policy based on a cellular neural network.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2005