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Improving the Global Information Grid's Performance through Satellite Communications Layer Enhancements

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6 Author(s)
Hubenko, Victor P. ; Air Force Inst. of Technol., Wright-Patterson AFB, OH ; Raines, R.A. ; Mills, R.F. ; Baldwin, R.O.
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With the information age in full and rapid development, users are becoming accustomed to having immediate access to information. Users demand more capabilities from every kind of electronic device: more processing power, more features, and better connectivity. Users are also realizing the benefits of collaborating with others in their communities to help expand the body of knowledge. One user that understands the benefits of information sharing is the United States Department of Defense. The DoD's Network-Centric Enterprise Services initiative, along with the concept of pushing the "power to the edge," aims to enable end users with maximum situational awareness and the most comprehensive battlespace, all in a secure networking environment. Providing so much data and capabilities to the end user, however, will require an increase in communications capability and efficiency. To address increased capability needs, the DoD is continually developing and enhancing the global information grid (GIG) throughout its various "layers" of communication infrastructure. One such layer of infrastructure involves the use of cooperative low Earth orbiting satellites for efficient multicasting communications. In this article we review the network-centric concept and the GIG infrastructure. We then discuss the potential benefits to adding a low Earth orbit satellite communications infrastructure to the GIG model. Finally, we show how multicasting protocols can enhance the efficiency within the GIG and reduce some of the long-haul communications burdens

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Communications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 11 )