There are two solid truths out there: we are consistently being bombarded by all kinds of 1s and 0s, and the systems we depend on to deliver them are as dynamic and diverse as ever. With multiple low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication (SATCOM) constellations currently being designed, developed, tested, built and deployed, the ‘future is now’ is a phrase we seem to need to get use to. Why? Because of us – we are ‘data hungry‘ and the amount of data we will likely wish to consume in the future will be even greater.
These LEO SATCOM constellations will bring data to poorly-served and under-served areas of the globe, as well as reducing the latency of the information in doing so. To the surface user, the connection to these fast-flying orbital assets will be an afterthought, but to the designers, operators and strategic employers (read: military), this connection must be assured and resilient – no question.
All systems in operation today must be built to withstand and function within their expected environment and under expected conditions. Physical layer effects of visibility, terrain, urban terrain, system dynamics, atmospheric disturbance, interference etc must all be considered in the system design. And then, for SATCOM systems and other data pipelines, the network simulation aspect is paramount to watch for, anticipate, and rapidly react to nodal disturbances.
Working with partner Alanax, Analytical Graphics Inc has been able to bring Systems Toolkit (STK) to the ‘network simulation and emulation fight’ via the STK Netmod product. The attached documentation and video below describe the value-add of this capability in capturing the impact that protocols have on dynamic network links.
NOTE: A sample scenario for STK Netmod is accessible via agi.com. Just download STK, open the application and select ‘Open a Scenario’, then select ‘agi.com scenarios’. You should see the following: