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A complete situational awareness requires that an interested party be able to receive information form multiple sources at the same time. With bent pipe satellites a destination terminal can receive data only from a single source terminal at any given time. The authors analyze the key features of the next generation satellites that have packet processing capability within the satellite. An attractive capability of such regenerative satellite mesh architectures is the possibility to receive data concurrently from multiple source terminals. Satellite-based packet switching combined with bandwidth-on-demand and spot beams enables additional capacity and responsive dynamic resource allocation. Besides discussing this architectural framework, they also analyze the associated network transport needs of real time IP applications and the effect of the geosynchronous data link delays.
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