Understanding the Effects of TCP Tunneling on Approaching High Performance HAIPE-Encrypted Satellite Communication Systems

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Conference Proceeding

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Publication Title

MILCOM 2019 - 2019 IEEE Military Communications Conference (MILCOM)



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Satellite communication (SATCOM) networks are growing fast with much larger deployment and user groups nowadays. For SATCOM links, the long propagation delay and high loss rate have a significant impact on the performance of Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). Performance Enhancing Proxy (PEP) has been developed to increase TCP throughput over SATCOM networks. In military SATCOM networks, data encryption like High Assurance Internet Protocol Encryption (HAIPE) is always required for security, which disables the functionality of PEP. The problem of enhancing TCP performance over encrypted SATCOM links is investigated in this paper. Moreover, we study and evaluate the potential solution of using TCP tunnel to provide a better understanding of the TCP tunneling performance. An emulation testbed is designed and developed for problem investigation and solution evaluation. With the emulation testbed, the performance of conventional and new versions of TCP congestion control algorithms, including TCP Reno, TCP Cubic, TCP BBR, and TCP Hybla, are investigated under various delay and loss conditions. The results show that high link loss rate will have a significant impact on the throughput of TCP Reno and TCP Cubic, while TCP BBR and Hybla are much less affected by the link loss rate. To increase the performance of TCP Reno and Cubic, the idea of TCP tunnel for SATCOM links with high error rate is also investigated. Results help to identify and develop effective solutions for improving TCP throughput over encrypted SATCOM networks.


Satellite communications; Transmission control protocol; TCP tunnel; High assurance internet protocol encryption; Performance enhancing proxy; Congestion control


Computer Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics



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