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Design and Implementation of a Narrow-Band Intersatellite Network with Limited Onboard Resources for IoT

Yoon, Zizung; Frese, Walter; Briess, Klaus

Satellite networks are inevitable for the ubiquitous connectivity of M2M (machine to machine) and IoT (internet of things) devices. Advances in the miniaturization of satellite technology make networks in LEO (Low Earth Orbit) predestined to serve as a backhaul for narrow-band M2M communication. To reduce latency and increase network responsivity, intersatellite link capability among nodes is a key component in satellite design. The miniaturization of nodes to enable the economical deployment of large networks is also crucial. Thus, this article addresses these key issues and presents a design methodology and implementation of an adaptive network architecture considering highly limited resources, as is the case in a nanosatellite (≈10 kg) network. Potentially applicable multiple access techniques are evaluated. The results show that a time division duplex scheme with session-oriented P2P (point to point) protocols in the data link layer is more suitable for limited resources. Furthermore, an applicable layer model is defined and a protocol implementation is outlined. To demonstrate the technical feasibility of a nanosatellite-based communication network, the S-NET (S band network with nanosatellites) mission has been developed, which consists of four nanosatellites, to demonstrate multi-point crosslink with 100 kbps data rates over distances up to 400 km and optimized communication protocols, pushing the technological boundaries of nanosatellites. The flight results of S-NET prove the feasibility of these nanosatellites as a space-based M2M backhaul.
Published in: Sensors, 10.3390/s19194212, MDPI