Enabling the Internet of Arctic Things with Freely-Drifting Small-Satellite Swarms
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionIEEE Access. 2018, . 10.1109/ACCESS.2018.2881088
The widespread deployment of Internet-capable devices, also known as the Internet of Things (IoT), reaches even the most remote areas of the planet, including the Arctic. However, and despite the vast scientific and economic interest in this area, communication infrastructures are scarce. Nowadays, existing options rely on solutions such as Iridium, which can be limited and too costly. This paper proposes and evaluates an alternative to existing solutions, using small satellites deployed as a freely-drifting swarm. By combining these simpler and more affordable satellites with standard protocols, we show how IoT can be supported in the Arctic. Networking protocols and link characteristics are emulated for 3 different satellite orbits and 4 ground nodes. The impact of different protocols and communication conditions is assessed over a period of 49 days and a cross-layer routing approach proposed. The obtained results reveal that a communication overhead bellow 27 % can be achieved and that the implemented satellite-aware route selection allows reducing the end-to-end time of a request up to 93 min on average. This confirms that freely-drifting small-satellite swarms may enable the Internet of Things even in the most remote areas.