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The next generation of broadband satellite networks is challenged to accommodate multimedia services while concurrently integrating with terrestrial IP networks. With IP applications dominating the Internet, carrying IP traffic over the satellite has been under intensive study. Originally developed to bring digital television home through satellites, the DVB-S and DVB-RCS standards empower interactive satellite communications with economical standardized satellite terminals. Furthermore, onboard switching technology is increasingly gaining attention, due to optimized bandwidth usage, fully meshed network topology through one satellite hop, and quality of service guarantee. This article investigates the onboard switching technologies in DVB-S/DVB-RCS broadband satellite networks. Aside from the network system infrastructure and switch hardware architecture, the QoS mechanisms supported by the switch onboard the satellite are discussed in depth.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2005