In this paper, we have provided a summary of the design options in Satellite-ATM technology. A satellite ATM network consists of a space segment of satellites connected by inter-satellite crosslinks, and a ground segment of the various ATM networks. A satellite-ATM interface module connects the satellite network to the ATM networks and performs various call and control functions. A network control center performs various network management and resource allocation functions. Several issues such as the ATM service model, media access protocols, and traffic management issues must be considered when designing a satellite ATM network to effectively transport Internet traffic. We have presented the buffer requirements for TCP/IP traffic over ATM-UBR for satellite latencies. Our results are based on TCP with selective acknowledgments and a per-VC buffer management policy at the switches. A buffer size of about 0.5 * RTT to 1 * RTT is sufficient to provide over 98% throughput to infinite TCP traffic for long latency networks and a large number of sources. This buffer requirement is independent of the number of sources. The fairness is high for a large numbers of sources because of the per-VC buffer management performed at the switches and the nature of TCP traffic.
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