A study of error control techniques and the use of an enhanced X.25 LAPB protocol on a pseudo-random frequency-hopped anti-jam satellite link
The Skynet IV satellite will provide a medium for an integrated digital communications network. This will use the packet-oriented techniques employed in many modern communications systems. One important role of the system will be to provide jam-resistant services. The advent of sophisticated electronic jammers has required the application of complex error-correcting codes and data interleaving techniques. When the satellite link forms part of a wider network, these have profound effects upon the performance of the data link protocol. This project has examined some of these effects. Terrestrial data link control protocols were found to be very inefficient, and a number of enhancements to these protocols have been proposed. An implementation of the enhanced protocols has been tested within a simulation environment. The simulator was written in Simula, an object-oriented programming language. The performance of the link was observed to be highly dependent upon the error environment presented by the underlying physical layer service (in this case a frequency-hopped spread spectrum anti-jam satellite circuit). A model of the physical layer was combined with a link layer simulator. The model used an unusual technique to reduce the computational requirements of the simulator. The project revealed that a conventional anti-jam satellite circuit is unsuitable for carriage of packetised data services. However, a number of simple changes to the protocol and error control techniques may yield a significant increase in the performance, permitting use of the service even in the harsh error environments presented by hostile jammers. These results are to be used in the specification of future satellite modems.