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OverviewofAdaptiveTDMAiniDX3.

May2015

INTRODUCTION
TheiDirectAdaptiveTimeDivisionMultipleAccess(TDMA)delivershigherspectralefficiency
andgreaternetworkversatilitybyoptimallychangingthereturnchannelconfigurationto
matchtheconditionsoftheovertheairlinksandtheconstraintsoftheterminals.Network
operatorsusingthisfeaturewillbeabletoboosttheirnetworkthroughput,increasenetwork
availability,reduceterminalcostsorcombinethesebenefitstofittheirbusinessneeds.With
AdaptiveTDMA,eachVerySmallApertureTerminal(VSAT)canbeassignedadifferent
modulation,coding,symbolrateandspreadfactor,onaburstbyburstbasistooptimizethe
returnchannel.Thenetworkisthenbetterabletoaccommodate:

1. Staticdifferencesamongremoteslikeblockupconverter(BUC)sizeandantennasize.
2. Dynamicdifferencesamongremotesliketheamountofrainfadeoverthehubandthe
amountofrainfadeovereachremote.
3. DifferenceslikeGainoverTemperature(G/T)andSaturatedFluxDensity(SFD),which
arestaticforfixedVSAT,butdynamicformobileVSAT.

HeterogeneousInrouteGroup
AdaptiveTDMAintroducestheflexibilitytochangetheinrouteswithinaninroutegroup,
improvingthecarrieroptionsavailabletoaremotewithinthatinroutegroup.InexistingiDirect
systems,inroutegroupsaregroupsofidenticalTDMAinroutesonwhichremotesareallowed
totransmit.WithAdaptiveTDMA,theinroutesinaninroutegrouparenolongerrequiredto
beidentical.Infact,inrouteswithdifferentsymbolrates,modulations,ForwardError
Correction(FEC)codingrates,spreadorunspread,aswellasspreadfactorscannowcoexistin
thesameinroutegroup.Thisnewflexibilityaffordsgreatlatitudeforaproperlydesigned
inroutegrouptoprovideinboundconnectivitytoVSATswithdifferentterminalcapabilitiesand
underdifferentlinkconditions.Figure1showsoneexampleofonesuchheterogeneous
inroutegroup.

Figure1Heterogeneousinroutegroup

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ShorttermAdaptivityFrequencyHoppingandUplinkPowerControl
Eachremotecanfrequencyhopfromonebursttothenextamongalltheinrouteswithinits
frequencyhoppinggroup.AremotecanthereforefrequencyhoptochangeitsMODCOD,
symbolrateandevenspreadfactoronaburstbyburstbasisasnecessarytooptimize
upstreamportspeedandbandwidthefficiencyforvaryinglinkconditions.TheiDirecthub
allocatesupstreamburstsamongremotesbasedonthedemandforcapacityandtheQualityof
Service(QoS)policies.
Theupstreamburstallocationalgorithmmaximizesaggregatereturnchannelcapacityby
continuouslymeasuringtheSignaltoNoiseRatio(SNR)ofupstreamburstscomingfromall
remotes.UsingthelatestSNRvalueandthesymbolrateofthepreviouscarrier,the
instantaneousCarriertoNoisedensityvalue(C/No)iscomputedforeachremotethat
determinesintowhichsubsetofinroutesaparticularremoteiscapableofbursting.Thisvalue
isusedbythehubtodeterminethenominalcarrierforeachremote,whichisthemost
efficientcarrierwithineachremotesconstraints,andthesubsetofinroutesthateachremote
canaccess.
EachremoteusesuplinkpowercontrolasmuchaspossibletomeettheSNRthresholdofthe
carrierthattheremoteisaccessingatanygiventime.Whenaremote,duetorainfadeor
someotherreason,nolongerhassufficientBUCpowertoachievetheSNRthresholdofthe
currentcarrier,thehubwillcommandtheremotetohopdowntoanothercarrierwithalower
symbolrateand/oralessspectrallyefficientMODCODwithalowerSNRthreshold.Whena
remotehasmorethanenoughBUCpowertoachievetheSNRthresholdofthecurrentcarrier,
thehubmaycommandtheremotetohopuptoanothercarrierwithahighersymbolrate
and/oramorespectrallyefficientMODCODwithahigherSNRthreshold.
Toillustratehowdifferentrainfadeconditionsimpactthesubsetofinroutesaremotecan
access,considertheexampleillustratedinFigure2.AnOperatormanagesanetworkforalarge
Enterprisecustomerwithmultipleremoteoffices.Throughputrequirementsateachofthe
remoteofficesarereasonablyhigh,andthecustomer'sremoteofficesaregeographically
dispersed.Here,weconsiderasingleremoteofficeinthatnetworksufferingfromincreasingly
adverseweatherconditions.

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Fig.2Rainfadeconditionaffectingthesubsetofinroutesavailabletoaremote

Inidealclearskyconditions,theremoteinquestioniseligibletoburstonalloftheavailable
carriers,fromthelargestandleastrobust8PSK2/3inroutedowntothesmallestandmost
robustQPSK3/4inroute.

Astheremoteofficestartstoexperiencesomefade,uplinkpowercontrolwillincreasethe
transmitpowerinanattempttokeepitonthemostefficientandhighestbandwidthinroute.
However,atacertainpoint,theremotewillnotbeabletoincreaseitstransmitpowerany
further;thehubwillthenremovethelargest8PSK2/3inroutesfromthoseonwhichthis
remotewillbedynamicallyassignedslots.Thesmaller8PSK2/3inroutecanstillbeanoption,
asitsSNRthresholdwillbelowerthanthelarger8PSK2/3inroutesduetothesizeofthe
inroute.

Asconditionsattheremoteofficecontinuetoworsen,andthesiteisinheavyfade,itisonlyon
themostrobustinrouteinthisnetwork,thesmallestQPSK3/4inroute,onwhichtheremote
couldbeassignedslots.

Itisimportanttonotethatthroughoutthisexample,thecompositionofinroutesdidnot
change:thesystemwasabletoaccommodatefadeatasinglesitewithoutchangingthe
MODCODsoftheinroutes.However,incasesofwidespreadfadecodingchangestothe
inroutesmayberequiredasexplainedinthenextsection.

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MediumtermAdaptivityModulationandCodingChangestoInroutes
Asthechangeofconditionsoftheremotepopulationbecomesmorewidespread,suchaswider
rainfadeormobileVSATsmovingtodifferentbeamregions,thedemandforsomeinroutes
mayeventuallyoutstriptheiravailabilityunderthecurrentinroutegroupdesign.IniDX3.2,the
AdaptiveTDMAReturnChannelcanchangeinrealtimethemodulationandcodingschemes
(MODCODs)oftheinroutesinaninroutegroup.
InanyinroutegroupofAdaptiveTDMAinroutes,therearealwayssomeupstreaminroutesthat
aremoredesirablethanothersduetodifferencesinsymbolrateandMODCOD.Inrouteswith
highersymbolratesaremoredesirablebecausetheyofferfasterupstreamportspeedsforthe
remotesthatcanaccessthem.Similarly,inrouteswithmorespectrallyefficientMODCODare
alsomoredesirablebecausetheymaximizeaggregatereturnchannelcapacity.However,more
desirableinroutesrequiremoreBUCpower,biggertransmitantennas,greaterG/T,andless
rainfadetoaccess.
TheiDirectsystemcontinuouslyquantifiesthechangingamountoftrafficthatmustgo
upstreamonlessdesirableinroutes.Whenthereisashortageoflessdesirablecarriercapacity,
thehublowerstheMODCODofsomeupstreaminroutestocreateadditionalupstreamcapacity
thatmoredisadvantagedremotescanaccess.Conversely,whenthereisalargesurplusofless
desirablecarriercapacity,iDirectincreasestheMODCODofsomeupstreaminroutestocreate
additionalupstreamcapacitythatismorespectrallyefficient.
InaniDX3.2VSATsystem,severaldifferentinroutegroupcompositionsofcarrierMODCODs
canbedefinedforanyinroutegroup.AninroutegroupcompositiondefinestheMODCODof
eachcarrierinaninroutegroup.Everyfewtensofseconds,theexactintervalconfigurableby
theNetworkOperatorbasedontherateofchangeofconditions,thehubassessestheamount
ofcontentionamongremotesandtheaggregatethroughputavailablewithineachinroute
groupcomposition,thenchoosesthecompositiondeemedtobestsatisfythenetworkscurrent
requirements.
ConsidertheEnterprisecustomerfromtheusecaseintheprevioussection.Inadditionto
requiringreasonablyhighthroughputateachsite,thecustomerwouldalsoliketoreduceany
interruptionsinconnectivityatitsofficestoaminimum.TheNetworkOperator,after
consideringservicerequirementsandcompletingalinkbudget,mightproposeaconfiguration
consistingofthreeinroutegroupcompositions.

Thefirstinroutegroupcompositionconsistsofall8PSK2/3inroutes,whichmostlikely
correspondstothecompositionusedinclearskycondition.Thetwosmallerinroutescan
providesomerainfadeprotectiontoasmallnumberoffadedremotes.Themiddleinroute
groupcompositionisnecessarywhenmorerainfadeprotectioninroutesareneeded.Ifthe
hubisunderfade,allremoteswillsuffer.Inordertokeepasmanyremotesinthenetworkas
possible,alltheMODCODsareloweredfurtherasshowninthethirdinroutegroup
composition.
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TheNetworkOperatornowisabletodeliverthehigherservicelevelsdemandedbythe
Enterprisecustomer,butalsooffertheprotectionsrequiredwhenadverseconditionsaffect
partsofortheentirenetwork.

Figure3Examplesofinroutegroupcompositions

LongtermAdaptivityInrouteGroupCompositionDesign
Asillustratedintheprevioussection,thedesignoftheseinroutegroupcompositionshasdirect
impactonthetotalthroughput,perremotedataratesandtheavailabilityofthenetwork.
iDirectwillprovideenhancementstoitsexistingnetworkdesigntooltoassistVSATnetwork
designersinproperlysizingthereturninroutesintheinroutegroupanddesigningtheinroute
groupcompositions.
WiththeconstantchangesinmostVSATnetworks,eitherduetonewserviceofferingsor
additionalremotesinthenetworks,thedesignofinroutegroupsandtheirassociatedinroute
groupcompositionsshouldbereviewedandoptimizedfromtimetotime.Usingthenew
iMonitortools,anetworkengineercanquicklyanalyzethecompositionusagedistribution,now
andovertime,C/Nodistributionforeachcarrier,timeplansovertimeaswellasphysicallayer
measurementsoftheremotes.

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ThefollowingdiagramdepictsAdaptiveTDMAiniDX3.2

Figure4AdaptiveTDMAiniDX3.2

PerformanceAdvantageofAdaptiveTDMA
Comparedtotraditionalnonadaptiveinroutegroupdesign,AdaptiveTDMAwillenableiDX3.2
networkstooperateatmorespectrallyefficientMODCODswhileprovidingfarbetter
protectionforadverselinkconditions.
Letsconsideranexistingnetworkwithanonadaptiveinroutegroupthatusesfiveinroutes,
eachoneat1Msps.LetsalsoassumethattheinroutesweredesignedtouseQPSKMODCOD
andhad4dBinrainfademargin.UpgradingtoiDX3.2withAdaptiveTDMAwillenablethese
inroutestooperateupto8PSK2/3bynotneedingtomaintainthesizablefademargin.Rain
fadeprotectionis,inturn,providedbyhavingdifferentcarriersizesinthesameinroutegroup
andtheabilitytochangetheMODCODsonthefly.Asaresult,underclearsky,boththetotal
throughputandtheperremotepeakrateincreasesignificantlywhilethefadeprotectionalso
goesup.Whenfadebecomesmorewidespreadandtwooftheinroutesneedtochangeto
QPSK,thetotalthroughputisstill16%higherandthefademarginincreasesto7dBor75%
improvement.Iffadeoccursatthehub,alltheMODCODswillbeloweredtoprovidetotalfade
marginofmorethan12dBor200%improvement.Totalthroughputwilltakea10%hitbutall
theremoteswillbeabletostayinthenetwork.

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Figure5PerformanceimprovementusingAdaptiveTDMA

AdaptiveTDMAandGroupQoS
TheiDirectGroupQualityofService(QoS)featuresfunctiononanAdaptiveTDMAinroutein
roughlythesamewayastheGroupQoSfunctionsonastaticinroute.Withthroughputgains
andenhancedavailability,ServiceProviderswillbeabletofulfillSLAswithconfidence.

First,alltheexistingGQoSfeaturesforpacketprioritizationaresupportedwhenworkingwith
AdaptiveTDMA.TheCommittedInformationRate(CIR)andMaximumInformationRate(MIR)
configuredforeachremotearehonored.Whenaremotemusthoptoaslowercarrierduring
rainfadeitwillbegivenmoretimeslotsontheslowercarriertokeepitsIPthroughput
constantevenwhenitspeakdatarateisreduced.
AswithAdaptiveCodingandModulation(ACM)onthedownstreamcarrier,anAdaptiveTDMA
inroutecannotalwaysguaranteethataremotegetsitsconfiguredCIRorstaysinthenetwork.
Atsomepoint,asufficientlydeeprainfadewillforcearemotetouseaMODCODorsymbol
ratethatlackstheIPthroughputcapacitytodeliveraremotesconfiguredCIR.Anevendeeper
rainfademaypreventtheremotefromstayinginnetworkaltogether.
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DespiteGQoS'abilitytoapportionbandwidthfairly,especiallywhenaremoteisindeeprain
fade,somenetworkoperatorsmaywishtospecifyalinkthresholdbeyondwhichthesystem
willnotattempttosatisfyaremote'sconfiguredQoS.Thisthresholdinstructsthesystemto
ignoretheconfiguredQoSofremotesinsufficientlydeepfade,easingtheabilityofthesystem
torespectremainingQoSconfigurations.Bydefault,thethresholdisnotenabled.

AnAdaptiveTDMAinrouteismoreresilientthanastaticinroute,yetNetworkOperatorsmust
stillmakepolicydecisionsbalancingequipmentandbandwidthcoststoachievethedesired
leveloflinkavailability.

SystemsRequirements
ThereareseveralrequirementsonthebasebandequipmentinordertoimplementAdaptive
TDMA.First,AdaptiveTDMAissupportedonlyonEvolution(DVBS2)remoteslikeiDirectsX1,
X3,X5,X7ande8350satelliterouters.iNFINITIremotescannotaccessanAdaptiveTDMA
inroute.Furthermore,onlythe2D16StateFECcodescanbeusedinanAdaptiveTDMA
inroute.The2D16StateFECcodesarealwaysmoreefficientthantheolderTurboProduct
Codes(TPC),makingthisconstraintadesirablesideeffect.Atthehub,onlyiDirectsXLCMand
eM0DxhublinecardscanbeusedtoimplementAdaptiveTDMA,althoughotherEvolutionhub
linecardscansupportfixedinroutesinanAdaptiveTDMAinroutegroup.TheeM1D1linecard
runningasareceiveronlylinecardcan,however,supportfulladaptivity.
Additionally,eachupstreamcarrierwithinaninroutegroupmustusethesamepayloadsize.
Thatis,eachcarriermaybeconfiguredwithadifferentMODCOD,butallinrouteswithinan
inroutegroupmustusethesamepayloadsize(100,170or438bytes).

Conclusion
Insummary,AdaptiveTDMAenhancesreturnchannelperformanceandincreasesnetwork
availabilityunderrainfadeandlinkdegradation.

Aninroutegroupcansupportcarrierswithdifferentsymbolrates,MODCODsandspread
factorsdynamicallyadjustingtochanginguplinkconditionsbasedoneachremotesdemand
andthesystemsQoSconfiguration.

ServiceProvidershavetheflexibilitytochoosethebusinessmodelthat'srightforthem.With
AdaptiveTDMAtheycangainupto40%inthroughputforfixedVSATwiththesamesatellite
bandwidth,andevenmoreformobilenetworks.Asaresult,theycandeliverhigherdatarates
toenduserseagertorunbandwidthintensiveapplicationsandcriticaloperationsover
satellite.
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Theycanalsosellmorebandwidthtocustomersusingtheirexistingsatellitecapacity,creating
newrevenuestreams,ortheycanlowercapacitycostswhilemeetingexistingcustomerService
LevelAgreements(SLAs).Andtheycanrealizeadditionalcapexsavingsbydeployingsmaller
terminals.

Theycanalsochoosetoleverageperformancegainstoprovidecustomerswithhigherlevelsof
availabilitywithoutdesigningtheentirelinkbudgetaroundworstcaseconditions,ensuring
greaterprotectionagainstrainfadeandadjustforspectrumdegradation.Thisflexibilityis
especiallyimportantformaritimeandaviationapplications.

Lastly,serviceproviderscanenhancetheirservicedifferentiation,withthroughputgainsand
enhancedavailability,allowingthemtofulfillSLAswithconfidence.

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