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A Ship-borne Ad-hoc NETwork (SANET), a maritime counterpart of the terrestrial vehicle ad-hoc network, can provide ships with diverse multimedia services by substituting digital maritime VHF communications for expensive satellite communications. This paper proposes Ad-hoc Self-Organizing TDMA (ASO-TDMA), a Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol targeting SANETs. Frames in ASO-TDMA are divided into several sub-frames, and based on the proposed rules for assigning time slots, ships can only reserve time slots for data transfers through their available sub-frames. Accordingly, ASO-TDMA provides better performance in terms of reducing receiver collisions from hidden terminal problems compared to Self-Organizing TDMA (SO-TDMA) and Carrier-Sensing TDMA (CS-TDMA), two existing MAC protocols for maritime VHF communications.
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