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The timing channel is the logical communication link established between a sender and a receiver in which the information flowing is encoded in the timing between events. Accordingly, information can be transferred by means of the transmitted packets, the time interval between such transmissions, and the size of the packets. In wired networks approaches using the timing channel can lead to a small increase in the overall communication capacity. In wireless networks with strict power constraints, instead, these can lead to significant performance improvements. In this paper attention is focused on power-constrained satellite networks where there is a large amount of bandwidth which cannot be used because the power required for operations executed on-board the satellite is much higher than what is available. In such scenarios the use of the timing channel can significantly improve the overall capacity of the system. In this paper a methodology is introduced which allows exploitation of the timing channel in power-constrained satellite networks and an analytical framework is derived for its assessment. Numerical results show that the proposed approach can achieve much higher capacity than what can be theoretically achieved without using the timing channel.
Date of Conference: 6-12 May 2007