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Prior work in modeling the satellite-based detection and tracking components of the ballistic missile defense system as a large-scale, wireless sensor network relies on a medium access scheme that can accommodate the large propagation delays encountered in these networked satellite systems. While existing satellite-based systems typically employ a form of time division multiple access, recent efforts have begun to explore contention-based approaches. In this work, we quantify the effect of the large propagation delays on both contention-based and contention-free solutions and propose a flow-specific medium access solution that provides improved delay performance by dynamically adapting the networked satellite medium access scheme to changes in both individual flow and link characteristics. A comparison with CSMA and TDMA is provided through simulation results using a version of the traffic-adaptive cooperative wireless sensor medium access control protocol that has been modified to accommodate large propagation delays.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2011