QoS handover management for multimedia LEO satellite networks

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Low earth orbit (LEO) satellite systems gained considerable interest towards the end of the previous decade by virtue of some of the appealing features that are endowed with, such as low propagation delay and the ability to communicate with handheld terminals. However, after the limited commercial success of the first networks of this kind, future satellite networks are now conceived as complementary rather than competitive to terrestrial networks. In this paper, we focus on one of the most influential factors in system performance, that is, the handover of a call. First, we provide a succinct review of the handover strategies that have been proposed in the literature. Then we propose two different satellite handover techniques for broadband LEO satellite systems that capitalize upon the satellite diversity that a system may provide. The proposed schemes cater for multimedia traffic and are based on the queuing of handover requests. Moreover, a deallocation scheme is also proposed according to which capacity reservation requests are countermanded when the capacity that they strive to reserve is unlikely to be used. Simulation studies further document and confirm the positive characteristics of the proposed handover schemes.

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