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A Routing Protocol for Hierarchical LEO/MEO Satellite IP Networks


The rapid growth of Internet-based applications pushes broadband satellite networks to carry on IP traffic. In previously proposed connectionless routing schemes in satellite networks, the metrics used to calculate the paths do not reflect the total delay a packet may experience. In this paper, a new Satellite Grouping and Routing Protocol (SGRP) is developed. In each snapshot period, SGRP divides Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites into groups according to the footprint area of the Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites. Based on the delay reports sent by LEO satellites, MEO satellite managers compute the minimum-delay paths for their LEO members. Since the signaling traffic is physically separated from the data traffic, link congestion does not affect the responsiveness of delay reporting and routing table calculation. The snapshot and group formation methods as well as fast reacting mechanisms to address link congestion and satellite failures are described in detail. The performance of SGRP is evaluated through simulations and analysis.

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Eylem Ekici was with the Broadband & Wireless Networking Laboratory, School of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology when this work was performed. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant ANI-0087762.

Chao Chen received the BE and ME degrees from Deparment of Electronic Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China in 1998 and 2001, respectively. She is currently working toward her Ph.D. degree in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA. She is a graduate research assistant in the Broadband and Wireless Networking Laboratory at Georgia Institute of Technology. Her current research interests include satellite and space networks, as well as wireless ad hoc and sensor networks. E-mail:

Eylem Ekici has received his BS and MS degrees in Computer Engineering from Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey, in 1997 and 1998, respectively. He received his PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, in 2002. Currently, he is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. Dr. Ekici’s research interests include wireless sensor networks, space-based networks, and next generation wireless networks, with a focus on modeling, multiaccess control, routing and multicasting protocols, and resource management. E-mail:

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Chen, C., Ekici, E. A Routing Protocol for Hierarchical LEO/MEO Satellite IP Networks. Wireless Netw 11, 507–521 (2005).

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