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Software-Defined Networking (SDN) enabled Satellite Bandwidth on Demand


TECH FOCUS AREAS: Network Command, Control and Communications; 5G; Autonomy TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems; Space Platform OBJECTIVE: Develop proper interfaces, solution architectures and requirements needed to support the software-defined networking (SDN)-based flexible satellite bandwidth on demand Advance typical satellite broadband access services with customers to be able to dynamically request and acquire bandwidth and quality of service (QoS) in a flexible manner. DESCRIPTION: Nowadays, many user demands from US military, commercial, and allied/international partners may need transient satellite communication resources during specific periods. These transient resources can be utilized from particular satellite constellations in different orbit regimes (e.g., low-, medium-, and geosynchronous earth orbits) to access best reception, or the least utilized network or other conditions, and thus leading to higher application performance and business efficiency for particular situations. This topic call seeks elastic network resource provision enabled by SDN implementations for flexibility and agility. It includes the necessary traffic control, inspection, prioritization and metering capabilities present across the satellite network components. Solutions on flexible on-demand bandwidth that intelligently integrate a SDN architecture with a programmable northbound application programming interface to cost-effectively provide guaranteed performance on a per-connection or flow basis to meet service level agreement requirements are of interest under this call. Moreover, potential approaches for SDN implementations should be achievable across multi-band and multi-orbit satellite networks, including satellite hubs and terminals. Other challenges are of interest in the context of sharing and multi-tenancy operational environments, involving business and operation service support for military, commercial, and allied/international partners, e.g., dynamic service level agreements, dynamic traffic control, and configurations of different QoS profiles and service classes. PHASE I: Develop a use case comprised of broadband connectivity between multiple fixed and/or mobile satellite user terminals dispersed across a region of interest and two or more commercial satellite service providers that allows for SDN techniques be applied and supported by satellite gateways and remote satellite terminals to meet flexible and on-demand bandwidth requirements. Analyze key technical challenges on how to provide transient on-demand network services without affecting normal operations of other users and to perform fast provisioning of satellite network resources and to perform dynamic network configurations to meet demands. PHASE II: Demonstrate a proof of concept for SDN-based flexible satellite bandwidth on demand. Evaluate multi-band and multi-orbit satellite broadband access services with customers to be able to dynamically request and acquire bandwidth and QoS in flexible manners. Document agility metrics pertaining to satellite network configurations in real-time (or near real-time) to better fulfil customer expectation but also to optimize utilization of network resources. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Integrate with prospective follow-on transition partners to provide improved operational capability to a broad range of potential Government and civilian users and alternate mission applications. Government organizations such as Air Force Research Laboratory and Space Systems Command could sponsor a government reference design in collaboration with small business and industry partners. Successful contractor technology demonstrations will inform the technical requirements of future acquisitions by Primes and subcontractors. NOTES: The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Applicants must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the proposed tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the Announcement and within the AF Component-specific instructions. Applicants are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. Please direct questions to the Air Force SBIR/STTR HelpDesk: REFERENCES: 1) Start, A., and Gordon M., The Critical Role of Tactical Satcom in Deployed Operations. IET Seminar on Military Satellite; Communications, London, UK, 2013; 2) S. Wahle and T. Magedanz, Network Domain Federation – “An Architectural View on How to Federate Testbeds”; 3) Nobre, J., Rosario, D., Both, C., Cerqueira, E., and Gerla, M., Toward Software-Defined Battlefield Networking, IEEE Communications Magazine, 54 (10), pp. 152-157, 2016; 4) K. D. Pham, Risk-Sensitive Rate Correcting for Dynamic Heterogeneous Networks, Autonomy and Resilience, IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT, 2020 KEYWORDS: network resource provision; software defined networking; dynamic traffic control; configurable traffic prioritization; guaranteed performance; service level agreements; multi-tenancy operational environments; quality of service profiles; service classes
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