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Versions: 00 01 02 03 04                                                
IPDVB Working Group                                          J. Cantillo
Internet-Draft                          ENSICA/TESA/Alcatel Alenia Space
Expires: June 9, 2007                                           J. Lacan
                                                        December 6, 2006

     A Design Rationale for Providing IP Services Over DVB-S2 Links

Status of this Memo

   By submitting this Internet-Draft, each author represents that any
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   have been or will be disclosed, and any of which he or she becomes
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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2006).


   This document describes a framework for the transmission of IP
   datagrams over DVB-S2, the second generation standard for Digital
   Video Broadcasting over Satellite.  The new standard features an
   improved and adaptive physical layer, as well as a new framing
   structure at link level, the Generic Streams.  Combined use of
   adaptability and Generic Streams is expected to offer throughputs
   never achieved for IP services up to now, but no standard way to

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   carry IP data using the specific features of DVB-S2 has been
   published up to date.  The present document analyzes these issues,
   and it identifies the requirements for the definition of a standard
   interface between the DVB-S2 link layer and an IP subnetwork.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  Conventions Used in This Document  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   3.  DVB-S2 Architecture  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     3.1.  Functional Blocks and Framing Overview . . . . . . . . . .  6
     3.2.  BBHEADER Fields  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   4.  Providing IP services over DVB-S2  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     4.1.  Basic Architecture Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
       4.1.1.  Protocols Supported  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
       4.1.2.  Encapsulation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
       4.1.3.  DVB-S2 Network Topologies  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     4.2.  DVB-S2 Logical Channels and ISI  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
     4.3.  Address Resolution Issues  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
     4.4.  QoS Mapping and MODCOD Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
       4.4.1.  Cross-Layer Optimizations for QoS Scheduling
               Policies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
       4.4.2.  Differentiated QoS over Logical Channels . . . . . . . 13
   5.  Motivations for a New Approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
     5.1.  ACM and DVB-S2 Framing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
     5.2.  IP over Generic Streams  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   6.  General Framework Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
     6.1.  Use of Existing Encapsulation Capabilities . . . . . . . . 15
     6.2.  Fragmentation Issues. Adaptive Packing and Scheduling
           Optimization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
       6.2.1.  Fragmentation Schemes to be Supported  . . . . . . . . 16
       6.2.2.  Packing Optimization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
     6.3.  Next Level Protocol Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
     6.4.  Precise Payload Unit Delineation and Reassembly  . . . . . 19
     6.5.  Integrity Check  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
     6.6.  Link Layer Addressing Capabilities . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
     6.7.  Flexibility for Future Extension . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
     6.8.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
   7.  Summary  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
   8.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
   9.  Document History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
   10. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
     10.1. Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
     10.2. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
   Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
   Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . . . . . 25

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1.  Introduction

   This document defines a framework that may be used to send/receive IP
   datagrams and packets of other network protocols using DVB-S2, the
   new physical layer and framing specification for satellite links
   defined by the Digital Video Broadcasting project [1].  Recently
   approved by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute
   (ETSI), this architecture is designed for broadband satellite
   applications such as digital television or radio, as well as
   interactive services such as Internet access or content distribution.

   Compared to its predecessor DVB-S [2], DVB-S2 features two main
   enhancements.  First, higher order modulations and stronger FEC are
   teamed up with return channels to achieve real-time adaptability to
   the link and propagation conditions.  This novelty called Adaptive
   Coding and Modulation (ACM) might allow for an enhanced throughput by
   30% to 150%, which explains in part the genuine interest for this new
   standard.  DVB-S2 supports also Variable Coding and Modulation and of
   course, Constant Coding and Modulation (CCM) modes.

   Second, DVB-S2 offers a new link-layer framing structure called
   Generic Streams (GS) in addition to the classical packetized
   Transport Streams (TS).  GS can be packetized or continuous, and are
   intended to address the non-native way in which IP services are
   carried today over MPEG2-TS using the Multi Protocol Encapsulation
   (MPE) [5] or the Unidirectional Lightweight Encapsulation (ULE) [4].
   Indeed, MPEG2-TS constraints such as constant bit-rate and constant
   end-to-end delay are not a must for IP services, which added to the
   accumulation of multiple overheads undermine IP carriage efficiency.
   Since the use of TS is no longer mandatory in DVB-S2 for carrying IP
   data, IP over GS seems to offer new possibilities for satellite-based
   IP networks.

   Up to now, no standard procedure to carry IP datagrams over Generic
   Streams has been published yet.  The proposal named Generic Stream
   Encapsulation (GSE) however, is the most likely to achieve
   convergence among the different solutions proposed.  In order to take
   advantage of the new facilities provided by DVB-S2, the previously
   mentioned solutions to encapsulate IP over DVB-S should be adapted or
   new solutions should be proposed.  The key goals are to reduce
   complexity when using the system while improving performance,
   increasing flexibility for IP services and providing opportunities
   for better integration of IP-based networks.

   After a detailed introduction to DVB-S2 architecture, Section 4
   describes how a DVB-S2 link can be used to provide the Internet
   service.  Finally, guidelines for the definition of a standard
   interface between the new link layer and an IP subnetwork are

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   exposed.  When defined, the proposed interface should minimize
   overhead and be simple enough to reduce processing while ensuring
   adequate network services, as well as be robust to errors and
   security threats while providing enough flexibility for future
   extension, as exposed in RFC 3819 [6].

2.  Conventions Used in This Document

   ACM: Adaptive Coding and Modulation.  Dynamic adjustment of
   transmission parameters (FEC coding rate and modulation scheme) on a
   BBFRAME-by-BBFRAME and Receiver-per-Receiver basis, according to link
   and propagation conditions.  In order to implement ACM, feedback from
   each Receiver has to be provided by a return channel such as DVB-RCS

   b: bit.  For example, one byte consists of 8b.

   B: Byte.  Groups of bytes are represented in Internet byte order.

   BBFRAME: Main framing unit of the DVB-S2 protocol stack, consisting
   of a 10B BBHEADER, a variable size DATAFIELD and Padding (when
   necessary).  It may carry either Generic Streams (GS) or Transport
   Streams (TS).

   BBHEADER: 10B header of a BBFRAME.

   CCM: Constant Coding and Modulation.  In CCM transmission mode, the
   system uses a single type of pre-defined waveform for every Receiver.
   DVB-S is a CCM system.

   DATAFIELD: Payload transported by each BBFRAME.  Its maximum size
   determines the length of the BBFRAME that contains it.  For a given
   Receiver, this maximum size is allowed dynamically on a BBFRAME-by-
   BBFRAME basis among 21 possible sizes (ranging from 372B to 7264B) by
   the VCM/ACM command.  Each size is related to the FEC coding rate to
   be used for encoding each particular BBFRAME.  Lower BBFRAME sizes
   are used when low coding rates (i.e. stronger protection against
   channel errors) are needed, whereas longer sizes (i.e higher coding
   rates) are used under good channel conditions.

   DFL: One of the BBHEADER fields.  Length in bits of the DATAFIELD.

   DVB-S2: Second Generation of the Digital Video Broadcast for
   Satellite applications standard [1].  A framework and set of
   associated standards published by the European Telecommunications
   standards Institute (ETSI) for the transmission of video, audio, and
   data, intended to replace DVB-S [2].

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   FEC: Forward Error Correction.  The scheme used in DVB-S2 relies upon
   the concatenation of Bose-Chaudhuri-Hocquenghem (BCH) and Low Density
   Parity Check (LDPC) codes.  For a given Receiver, its overall coding
   rate is adjusted on a BBFRAME-by-BBFRAME basis according to the needs
   specified for each BBFRAME by the VCM/ACM command.

   FECFRAME: Encoded BBFRAME, as seen at the output of the FEC encoder.
   FECFRAMEs have only two possible sizes, 2025B and 8100B, no matter
   the size of the BBFRAME to code.

   Generic Stream: One of the 2 possible input streams in DVB-S2, the
   other one being Transport Streams.  Generic Streams can be packetized
   or continuous, and are intended to be used especially for carrying
   data services such as IP distribution.  An example of packetized
   Generic Stream could be a flow of MPEG2 packets.

   GS: See Generic Stream.

   ISI: Input Stream Identifier, second byte of the BBHEADER field for
   multiple input streams.  It provides a way to separate different
   BBFRAMEs within a single multiplex, defining logical channels for

   MPEG2: A set of standards specified by the Motion Picture Experts
   Group (MPEG), and standardized by the International Standards
   Organization (ISO) [3].

   MODCOD: Information provided by the VCM/ACM command to the BBFRAME
   assembler, specifying the coding rate (therefore the size of the
   maximum size of DATAFIELD to be allowed) and the modulation scheme to
   be used for encoding and modulating each BBFRAME.

   NPA: Network Point of Attachment.  Addresses primarily used for
   station (Receiver) identification within a local network (e.g.  IEEE
   MAC address).  An address may identify individual Receivers or groups
   of Receivers.

   PID: Packet Identifier [3].  A 13 bit field carried in the header of
   TS Packets.  This is used to identify the TS Logical Channel to which
   a TS Packet belongs [3].  The TS Packets forming the parts of a Table
   Section, PES, or other Payload Unit must all carry the same PID
   value.  The all 1s PID value indicates a Null TS Packet introduced to
   maintain a constant bit rate of a TS Multiplex.  There is no required
   relationship between the PID values used for TS Logical Channels
   transmitted using different TS Multiplexes.

   PDU: Protocol Data Unit.  Examples of a PDU include Ethernet frames,
   IPv4 or IPv6 datagrams, and other network packets.

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   PLFRAME: Last framing unit of the Physical Layer of DVB-S2.

   PLHEADER: Header of a PLFRAME.  The PLHEADER contains synchronization
   information coded over 2b, as well as the MODCOD used for the current
   frame (5b).  Since it has to be demodulated and decoded for every
   Receiver without a priori knowledge of the carried MODCOD, it
   features an unique modulation and coding, no matter the payload's

   Receiver: An equipment that processes the signal from the satellite
   and performs filtering and forwarding of encapsulated PDUs to the
   network-layer service (or bridging module when operating at the link

   Return Channel: A way for end-users to interact with the transmitting
   Gateway, in order to establish a bi-directional communication.  Such
   technologies can make use of two-way satellite links [8] and/or
   terestrial links.

   SAR: Segmentation And Reassembly, generally for encapsulated SNDUs.

   SNDU: Sub Network Data Unit.  A framing entity created on the basis
   of a network-layer PDU by an adaptation layer protocol, allowing this
   PDU to travel along a L2 subnetwork.

   TS: Transport Stream [3], a method of transmission at the MPEG2 level
   using MPEG2 Packets.

   UPL: One of the BBHEADER fields.  It carries packets lengths in bits,
   in the case of packetized input streams.

   VCM: Variable Coding and Modulation.  Differentiated optimization of
   transmission parameters according to the physical characteristics of
   every Receiver, such as geographical position, size etc.

3.  DVB-S2 Architecture

3.1.  Functional Blocks and Framing Overview

   DVB-S2 is organized as a sequence of functional blocks.

   The Mode Adaptation block processes input data structured either as
   TS or GS, single or multiple.  Input streams are sliced into
   DATAFIELDs to which a 10B BBHEADER is appended.  The maximum length
   of every DATAFIELD is chosen dynamically among 21 allowed sizes in
   the range [374B; 7264B] by the VCM/ACM command, according to the
   protection required for everyone of them.  Basically the shorter they

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   are, the more space there is for FEC redundancy protection.  Actual
   systems may only implement a subset of those 21 sizes.

   The Stream Adaptation block may complete every DATAFIELD with Padding
   in order to match the length of a valid BBFRAME.  BBFRAMEs therefore
   have one of 21 possible pre-defined sizes in the range [384B; 7274B].
   This is a major difference with DVB-S, since at this level there are
   only 188 Byte MPEG2 containers.  Note that DATAFIELDs sizes are not
   multiples of 188B: Transport Streams, as well as Generic Streams, are
   mapped asynchronously over BBFRAMEs.

   Adaptive FEC encoding constitutes the third block.  A set of coding
   schemes based on a concatenation of LDPC and BCH codes ensures a very
   efficient error protection, only 0.7 to 1 dB away from the Shannon
   limit (DVB-S FEC is around 2.5 dB from that margin).  In ACM mode,
   the ACM command dictates dynamically the coding rate to be used for
   every BBFRAME in order to provide a Quasi-Error Free (QEF) quality
   target at the input of the Receiver's DEMUX (roughly equivalent to
   PER < 1e-7 for a MPEG2 transmission).  FEC parity bits are calculated
   and appended systematically to each BBFRAME in order to provide
   fixed-length FECFRAMEs of 2025B or 8100B. This implies that shorter
   BBFRAMEs are completed with more redundancy than long BBFRAMEs, and
   are therefore more protected.

   Finally, FECFRAME bits are modulated and raised-cosine filtered, to
   provide the body of a PLFRAME. 4 different modulations with spectral
   efficiencies ranging from 2bits/s/Hz to 5 bits/s/Hz are available in
   DVB-S2.  Finally, information about the FEC coding rate and
   modulation used for every frame (MODCOD) is stored in a PLHEADER and
   appended to every PLFRAME.  Of course, DVB-S2 provides mechanisms to
   ensure proper reading of every PLHEADER for every Receiver without a
   priori knowledge of the contained MODCOD, so all PLHEADERs use a pre-
   determined coding and modulation.  The final PLFRAME is finally sent
   over the RF carrier using classical TDM and/or FDM techniques.

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   L2                           :::|    TS   or   GS   |:::
      +--------------+             .                   .
   D  |              |             .                   .
   V  |     Mode     |       +-----+-------------------+
   B  |  Adaptation  |       |BBHDR|     DATAFIELD     |
   -  |              |       +-----+-------------------+
   S  +--------------+       . 10B     0B<DFL<7264B    .
   2  +--------------+       .                         .
      |              |       .                         .
   P  |    Stream    |       +-------------------------+-------+
   H  |  Adaptation  |       |                         |Padding|
   Y  |              |       +-------------------------+-------+
   S  +--------------+       <---- BBFRAME: [382B;7274B] ------>
   I  +--------------+       .                                 .
   C  |              |       .                                 .
   A  | Adaptive FEC |       +---------------------------------+-------+
   L  |   Encoding   |       |                                 |Parity |
      |              |       +---------------------------------+-------+
   L  +--------------+       <------- FECFRAME: 2050B or 81000B ------->
   A  +--------------+       .                                         .
   Y  |              |       .                                         .
   E  |   Adaptive   | +-----+--+--+--+--+-               -+--+--+--+--+
   R  |  Modulation  | |PLHDR|  |  |  |  | ::::::::::::::: |  |  |  |  |
      |& TDM Framing | +-----+--+--+--+--+-               -+--+--+--+--+
      +--------------+ <----- PLFRAME: complex modulated symbols ------>

   Figure 1: DVB-S2 architecture and framing structure overview

3.2.  BBHEADER Fields

   Several statements made in the following sections will refer to
   fields present in the 10B BBHEADER, so a very short description of
   this entity is presented here:

   |  MATYPE 2B |   UPL  2B  |   DFL 2B   |SYNC 1B|  SYNCD  2B | CRC-8 |

   Figure 2: A BBHEADER

   The first byte of the MATYPE field specifies whether TS or GS are
   used, and whether they are single or multiple.  In the multiple case,
   the second byte is an "Input Stream Identifier" (ISI).

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   UPL specifies packet lengths in bits, in the case of packetized input
   streams.  As an example, a value of 0x05E0 (188*8 hexadecimal) is
   characteristic of MPEG2 packets.  A value of 0x0000 means a
   continuous GS.

   DFL specifies the length of the DATAFIELD actually used in bits, in
   the range [0b; 58112b] (58112 = 7264*8, 7264B being the maximum
   DATAFIELD length allowed).

   SYNC stores the synchronization byte carried by all the packets of a
   packetized stream, when there is one (e.g. if MPEG2 packets are
   transported, SYNC=0x47).  Since the synchronization byte is carried
   by BBHEADERs, there is no need for every packet to carry it anymore.
   A CRC-8 calculated for every packet replaces therefore the
   synchronization byte in every packet : it is used to validate
   Segmentation And Reassembly (SAR) applied on them.  SYNC is not
   relevant for continuous Generic Streams.

   SYNCD is the distance in bits, for a packetized stream, from the
   beginning of the DATAFIELD to the first start of packet contained in
   this DATAFIELD.  Its use is therefore similar to a Payload Pointer,
   as defined in ULE [4].  SYNCD is not relevant for continuous Generic

   Finally, a CRC-8 is calculated from the previous 9B of the BBHEADER.

   Note that BBHEADER fields natively support SAR applied to MPEG2
   packets or any other fixed-length packets asynchronously mapped over
   a BBFRAME flow.  Indeed, perfect delineation and reassembly can be
   achieved by the exclusive use of UPL, DFL and SYNCD for packetized
   Generic Streams.  Finally, the CRC-8 stored in the 1B slot liberated
   by SYNC in every packet provides an end-to-end integrity check,
   achieving thus an encapsulation that does not produce any overhead at
   all (except when Padding is necessary).  In DVB-S2, a flow of MPEG2
   packets can therefore be sent over a packetized Generic Stream using
   UPL=0x05E0 and SYNC=0x47.

4.  Providing IP services over DVB-S2

   The purpose of this section is to describe how a DVB-S2 link can be
   used to deliver the Internet service.  DVB-S2 not only provides all
   the tools necessary for a reliable and efficient transmission/
   reception of network layer datagrams, but it also allows to improve
   the way their delivery is classically done over satellite links.

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4.1.  Basic Architecture Considerations

4.1.1.  Protocols Supported

   This document focuses mainly on the transmission and reception of
   IPv4 and IPv6 unicast, multicast and braodcast/anycast datagrams.
   This includes datagrams with compressed or encrypted IPv4/IPv6
   headers (e.g.  RFC 1144 [9], RFC 2507 [10], RFC 3095 [11] and RFC
   2401 [12]).  However, the scope of the proposed framework is general
   enough to support a wide range of other network layer protocols, such
   as the ones recorded in the IANA EtherType registry.

4.1.2.  Encapsulation

   PDUs arrive to the transmission Gateway using the existing
   infrastructure, as e.g.  IP datagrams, Ethernet frames etc.  They are
   then shaped by an Encapsulator into SNDUs, fragmented when necessary
   and packed into BBFRAMES, either directly (Generic Streams) or via an
   additional layer (MPEG2-TS).  BBFRAMEs are coded, modulated and sent
   through the RF channel to the satellite.

   Encapsulation allows PDUs to travel along an L2 subnetwork, and
   provides mapping of network-level functionalities over L2 entities.

4.1.3.  DVB-S2 Network Topologies

   As a successor to DVB-S, some compatibility at least, as well as
   enhancement of network capabilities are expected for DVB-S2.
   Transmission networks to be supported by DVB-S2 contain therefore
   basically those specified in RFC 4259 [7].  Those are:

   Uni-directionnal scenarios such as:
      -Digital radio and TV broadcast
      -Broadcast networks used by an ISP
      -Uni-directionnal star IP scenarios
      -Datacast overlay

   Bi-directionnal scenarios such as:
      -Point-to-Point links
      -Two-way IP networks

   The growing demand for IP services and the increased availability of
   return channels are bound to play an important role in the
   development of the last 2 scenarios.  In addition, the enhanced
   throughput capabilities of the new standard will most likely
   influence positively this development.

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4.2.  DVB-S2 Logical Channels and ISI

   In the same way the PID field allowed to distinguish TS logical
   Channels for MPEG2, the ISI byte of every BBHEADER (see comment on
   the MATYPE field in Section 3.2) can be used to support logical
   channels for BBFRAMEs.  This would provide a powerful discriminating
   tool within a single multiplex of BBFRAMEs, that could be used e.g.
   for efficient address resolution, QoS differentiation or to provide
   other services.  However, up to now there is no standardized
   signalling associated to ISI (such as tables or reserved values), and
   further work has to be done in this direction in order to set a
   complete framework.  This important point includes precise mapping of
   upper layer QoS functions, or standards to associate the capabilities
   of these potential logical channels to upper layer flows.

   Note that other methods could be imagined to set up logical channels
   in DVB-S2.  However, the use of ISI, although not described in detail
   in the DVB-S2 specification, seems naturally adapted to this
   particular task.

   If MPEG2 packets are to be mapped into BBFRAMEs, there are no
   indications either in DVB-S2 about the way PIDs and ISI have to be
   related to each other.  Since PID already defines logical channels at
   MPEG2 level, the simplest solution would be to keep the ISI field
   unused, and filter at MPEG2 level.  In another figure case, ISI could
   be used to define meta-channels of PIDs.  The last possibility is ISI
   beeing just a copy of the transported PIDs, which supposes that only
   MPEG2 packets sharing the same PID are allowed to travel together.
   Note that even though the original PID is 13b long and ISI is only
   8b, actual hardware filters limit the maximum number of active PIDs
   per multiplex (e.g. to 32), thus making this mapping possible in some

   If Generic Streams are to be mapped into BBFRAMEs, ISI allocation and
   use will have to be defined from scratch.  For this, static or
   dynamic tables must be specified, using when possible the basis and
   the experience of those in use over MPEG2.  ISI signalling for
   Generic Streams is a key issue for building an IP sub-network over a
   DVB-S2 link, since GS are a very strong candidate to replace MPEG2
   bearers for the carriage of IP datagrams over satellite links.

4.3.  Address Resolution Issues

   Logical channels allow differentiation of upper layer flows within a
   BBFRAME multiplex.  A mapping function -to be defined- can provide
   the means to associate dynamically a network flow to a particular
   logical channel of a single multiplex.  This mapping function will be
   the main basis over which Address Resolution will be done in IP/

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   DVB-S2 networks.

   Precise address resolution considerations are out of the scope of the
   present document, but previous work done on DVB-S encapsulation
   procedures can provide valuable input here.  Furthermore, since
   BBHEADERs provide similar functionalities to the ones given by MPEG2
   headers, it is highly probable that existing considerations for PIDs
   can be transposed directly to ISI.

4.4.  QoS Mapping and MODCOD Selection

   Under ACM mode, every Receiver will be able to adjust its reception
   parameters by the choice of a minimum protection MODCOD, in order to
   cope with rapid link fading (due to e.g. rain or interference) and
   ensure data reception under any condition.

   From an IP point of view, MODCOD variations will only change the
   available bandwidth for the overall transmission.  The ACM command
   will therefore have to schedule packets according to QoS
   considerations, filling in an optimal way the available BBFRAMES.
   This might imply rapid changes of packets queues, delaying and/or
   dropping PDUs.

   Under DVB-S2 links, QoS will be a mix of 2 aspects: minimum
   protection required (MODCOD), and priority of transmission over other
   PDUs.  Proper mapping of QoS requirements over MODCODs has not been
   done yet and this is a topic in which comments and suggestions are
   most welcome.  In particular, there are many ways in which QoS
   requirements for every PDU can be passed to the scheduler.  This
   information could be added to every encapsulation header, or IP flows
   could be distributed over different queues (each one having different
   QoS requirements) prior to encapsulation and packing.  A less
   classical method could consist on making instant scheduling decisions
   at link layer with basis on information directly provided by every IP

   Other basic and non-exhaustive ideas are presented here:

4.4.1.  Cross-Layer Optimizations for QoS Scheduling Policies

   The value of the TOS (Type Of Service) field in the IP header will
   certainly be taken in account for QoS mapping, but QoS
   differentiation procedures can also rely on complementary

   A promising research possibility is to add specific application-level
   information to every single network packet (e.g. in the encapsulation
   header, complementing or overriding TOS), to determine the particular

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   BBFRAME in which it will be packed (that is, the particular MODCOD
   assigned to it) or its priority over other PDUs.  It has been pointed
   out that using application-level information for link-level
   scheduling and MODCOD protection might prove interesting.  An example
   of this could be an error-tolerant application (e.g. streaming), that
   simply may not need the maximal protection available at a given time
   for its particular Receiver: lowering its protection might free
   needed resources elsewhere and allow for processing and overhead
   saves.  Research lead on the relation between link-level FEC and
   application-level FEC will certainly provide interesting input to
   this particular issue.

4.4.2.  Differentiated QoS over Logical Channels

   Instead of assigning an optimal MODCOD to every single PDU, a simpler
   idea is to associate a given QoS level with a particular Logical
   channel, in a static or dynamic way.  Equivalent QoS levels could
   therefore have different instances according to the MODCOD they use.

   Again, input concerning thse particular issues is most welcome.

5.  Motivations for a New Approach

   Even though many existing solutions used in DVB-S can be extended or
   adapted to the new standard, the new features of DVB-S2 raise a
   number of important and interesting issues worth consideration.

5.1.  ACM and DVB-S2 Framing

   Through the use of ACM, the dynamic variations of the RF channel will
   have a direct impact over the physical waveform to be used for every
   piece of data to be transmitted.  Analysis of MODCOD allocation
   policies due to channel variations might open field for IP carriage
   efficiency improvement, and several competing resource allocation
   algorithms should be tested.

   On the other hand, the presence of BBFRAMEs measuring up to 7 kB
   (around 37 times the size of a MPEG2 packet) suggests that in many
   cases several full PDUs will be able to fit together in a single
   DATAFIELD.  Making reasonable assumptions about the fragmentation
   complexity allowed by a future encapsulation, Segmentation and
   Reassembly (SAR) should therefore occur less often than in DVB-S,
   which raises other kind of questions and risks.  In particular, a
   partially filled and sent BBFRAME will make worse use of the RF
   resource than a partially filled and sent MPEG2 packet.  In contrast,
   optimal BBFRAME filling should allow optimal resource use as it
   minimizes redundant overhead.  Indeed, available PDU encapsulations

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   such as MPE/MPEG2-TS, ULE/MPEG2-TS or AAL5/ATM were designed for a
   relatively high probability of SAR use during SNDU processing.  The
   definition of a scheduling algorithm ensuring optimal BBFRAME filling
   will certainly be a key point for improving IP carriage efficiency.

5.2.  IP over Generic Streams

   TS constant end-to-end delay and constant bit-rate are not a must for
   IP services, and could be overridden if a GS solution were considered
   for IP carriage.  On top of that, the mandatory asynchronous mapping
   of MPEG2 over the BBFRAMEs directly constitutes a triple drawback
   from an IP point of view.  First, it adds significant complexity and
   processing to the overall process.  Second, the eventual overhead
   (here, padding) generated by this asynchronous mapping will add to
   the overall overhead of the IP encapsulation over MPEG2-TS,
   decreasing global efficiency.  Finally, unexpected hardware/software
   functioning that may affect proper reassembly of fragmented MPEG2
   packets will directly impact PER at IP level.

   The use of MPE and recently ULE to convey IP data over MPEG2-TS has
   contributed over the past years to its wide acceptance as a IP
   subnetwork technology.  However, despite the unquestionable services
   done by MPEG2-TS in the DVB-S context, the use of GS in a DVB-S2
   system for conveying IP data seems to offer better perspectives.  In
   order to take full advantage of the handy features of GS and ACM, and
   stick to the key goals specified in Section 1, new solutions have to
   be considered.  Those should rely on already available proved
   concepts when possible, but should also innovate where existing
   mechanisms do not offer a satisfactory solution.

6.  General Framework Requirements

   Detailed requirements for transmission of IP datagrams over MPEG2-TS
   networks have been defined in RFC 4259 [7].  The present section will
   therefore focus on the requirements for transmission of IP datagrams
   over continuous Generic Streams in ACM mode.  Note however, as stated
   in Section 3.2, that seen from a BBFRAME, there is no difference
   between a MPEG2-TS and a packetized Generic Stream with packets of
   length 188B. From this perspective, MPE or ULE could be used for
   encapsulation of upper layer datagrams over a packetized Generic
   Stream, although this would be a very inefficient solution.  Indeed,
   in addition of artificially introducing the complexity and overhead
   of the MPEG2 layer, advanced fragmentation and adaptive scheduling
   could not be used, due to the flexibility limitations of the stream-
   based MPEG2 approach.

   This section is concerned with the efficient carriage of IP datagrams

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   over continuous Generic Streams relying on an adaptive link/physical
   layer.  Fundamental differences with a TS approach will therefore be
   pointed out when possible.

6.1.  Use of Existing Encapsulation Capabilities

   In the general encapsulation case, PDUs are formatted one by one into
   SNDUs, by receiving a particular header and an integrity check
   trailer such as a CRC.  When required, SNDUs are fragmented and their
   fragments are sent over the link using one or more bearers (e.g.
   MPEG2 packets or BBFRAMEs).  The encapsulation header provides
   delineation information to the Receiver, so that received SNDU
   fragments can be located and properly assembled.  The end-to-end
   integrity check stands as a protection against re-assembly errors.

   However, MPEG2 packets are encapsulated into BBFRAMEs without the
   need of additional encapsulation headers, since BBHEADERs provide all
   the functionalities necessary to delineate and reassemble fragmented
   packetized streams.  BBHEADERs have therefore some inherent
   encapsulation capabilities, and a future framework intended to
   standardize an IP over GS interface could take advantage of this
   handy feature.

   Of course, IP streams are not composed of fixed-length packets and
   the above-mentioned encapsulation capabilities of BBHEADERs do not
   directly apply.  However, several concepts used in classical
   encapsulation headers (e.g.  Payload Pointer or Length Field for ULE)
   could be transposed if IP packets were to be mapped over Generic
   Streams, using available fields in BBHEADERs (e.g.  SYNC and UPL/

   Note finally that among the 10 bytes of BBHEADERs, at least 3 (SYNC
   and SYNCD) are not relevant for continuous GS.  Their re-definition
   and use in an "IP over continuous GS" context might prove useful as
   this would allow reducing the header length of a future

6.2.  Fragmentation Issues. Adaptive Packing and Scheduling Optimization

   In order to ensure optimum use of the available resources, it is
   required that BBFRAMEs addressed to a single NPA carry as much data
   as possible, and therefore SNDU fragmentation is important.
   Furthermore, since BBFRAMEs are considerably longer than classical
   bearers, optimal packing of the SNDU fragments according to QoS or
   size criteria is a key point for achieving efficient PDU carriage.
   This is a major difference with DVB-S, in which SNDU fragments are
   sent over the next MPEG2 bearer available, regardless of their sizes
   or required QoS.

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6.2.1.  Fragmentation Schemes to be Supported

   Several fragmentation schemes supported by the encapsulator with
   increasing complexity can be imagined.  For the authors, the 4
   examples described below represent the maximum fragmentation levels
   that should be implemented in an encapsulator in order to avoid
   excessive Receiver complexity while ensuring optimum scheduling
   management.  Note that cases b. c. and d. do not occur in the MPEG2
   stream-based approach, and therefore cannot be managed by simple ULE-
   like SAR procedures.

   The following BBFRAMEs belong to the same logical channel, and are
   therefore seen by all the Receivers correctly tuned.  For the
   examples, we focus only on fragmentation of SNDU2 into 2 fragments
   SNDU2a and SNDU2b, carried by 2 different BBFRAMES.  Those 2 BBFRAMEs
   do not necessarily use the same MODCODs, but we suppose that the
   Receiver assembling SNDU2 can at least decode/demodulate them
   correctly.  Note that fragmentation of an SNDU over more than 2
   fragments is of course possible.

   a. Classical consecutive fragmentation

   +---------+--------+ +------+--------------+
   |  SNDU1  | SNDU2a | |SNDU2b|    SNDU3     |
   +---------+--------+ +------+--------------+

   This is the most natural and intuitive one, since it is classically
   used over MPEG2 bearers.  In this case, SNDU2 is sent over 2
   consecutive BBFRAMEs, using the end of the first BBFRAME and the
   start of the second one.

   b. Consecutive fragmentation with arbitrary SNDU fragment placement

   +---------+--------+ +----------+------+-------+
   |  SNDU1  | SNDU2a | |  SNDU3   |SNDU2b| SNDU4 |
   +---------+--------+ +----------+------+-------+

   After sending the beginning of SNDU2, the scheduler decides to use
   the beginning of the following BBFRAME to send SNDU3.  This latter
   SNDU could be addressed to another Receiver for example, or be
   addressed to the recipient of SNDU2 but bear more priority.  This is
   not necessarily related to a change of MODCOD after the first
   BBFRAME, although a narrowing of the bandwidth of the channel can
   motivate this kind of decisions.  SNDU2 is resumed using available
   space in the following bearer, which implies basically that SNDU2b
   does not start at the beginning of the second BBFRAME.

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   c. Non-consecutive fragmentation

   +---------+--------+ +------- // --------+ +------+--------------+
   |  SNDU1  | SNDU2a | | SNDU3  -->  SNDU7 | |SNDU2b|    SNDU8     |
   +---------+--------+ +------- // --------+ +------+--------------+

   After placing fragment SNDU2a, the scheduler decides to delay
   placement of SNDU2b in order to send 5 SNDUs, labelled 3 to 7.  After
   their transmission has finished a few BBFRAMEs later, SNDU2b is
   placed and sent in the beginning of the next available bearer.  In
   this case, the Receiver needs to identify the BBFRAME carrying
   SNDU2b.  Note that SNDUs #3 to #7 might have been fragmented as well
   over the intermediate BBFRAMEs, so that there might be more than 1
   SNDU with suspended fragments within the same BBFRAME flow.

   Such situation will happen e.g. because of a MODCOD change:
   intermediary BBFRAMES might be using a very efficient MODCOD, so that
   the Receiver assembling SNDU2 would not be able to decode/demodulate
   them.  In another scenario, they could have the same MODCOD as the
   previous ones, but be addressed to another Receiver of the same
   logical channel bearing more priority than the one assembling SNDU2.

   d. Non-consecutive fragmentation with arbitrary SNDU fragment

   +---------+--------+ +-------- // --------+ +--------+------+-------+
   |  SNDU1  | SNDU2a | | SNDU3   -->  SNDU7a| | SNDU7b |SNDU2b| SNDU8 |
   +---------+--------+ +-------- // --------+ +--------+------+-------+

   This case is a combination of cases b. and c.  The Receiver needs to
   identify the BBFRAME carrying SNDU2b as well as its position inside
   the BBFRAME.  This solution seems to offer the greatest flexibility
   vs. reasonable complexity trade-off in the DVB-S2 context.

   Note finally that in all previous schemes, SNDU2a is always at the
   end of a given BBFRAME.  A more generic fragmentation scheme could
   allow for a free placement of SNDU2a in the BBFRAME flow (not
   necessarily at the end of a BBFRAME), although this solution does not
   seem much more performant than d.

6.2.2.  Packing Optimization

   MODCOD allocation by the ACM command is closely related to packing
   optimization, since available DATAFIELD sizes will vary according to
   the dynamics of the channel.  A scheduling algorithm is required to
   optimize filling and minimize BBFRAME Padding, that may be up to

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   7264B for an empty DATAFIELD.  It should provide ways to fragment,
   re-order SNDUs and delay them when necessary for the sake of optimal
   filling, but always in the limits of an admissible complexity.  In
   particular, packet re-ordering between different IP flows to optimize
   BBFRAME filling is encouraged, while fragment reordering within a
   single flow of IP packets (that is between 2 fixed ports of 2 end
   hosts) should be avoided, according to RFC 3819 [6].

   A scheduling algorithm should take in account the statistical
   characteristics of the carried IP traffic, and its functioning should
   not be independent from the ACM command.  It should also provide
   BBFRAME Padding when necessary (when no PDU is ready to be

6.3.  Next Level Protocol Type

   A key feature of the required encapsulation is to identify the
   payload type being transported.  Such requirement is not specific to
   DVB-S2: most protocols use a type field to identify a specific
   process at the next higher layer that is the originator or the
   recipient of the payload.

   Given the length of BBFRAMEs, several PDUs will often be packed
   within the same BBFRAME.  Possible ways to differentiate protocol
   types to which PDUs belong are:

      -ISI channels.  This requires no overhead and demands that only
      PDUs from (or to) the same protocol can be sent together in a
      single BBFRAME.  The use of ISI for this purpose can interfere
      with its use for address resolution or QoS mapping.

      -A single Type field per BBFRAME (ex: appended to the BBHEADER or
      inside it)in an homogeneous traffic environment (e.g. an IPv4-only
      network).  Only homogeneous PDUs (that is, originated or going to
      a same protocol) will be packed together.  This solution produces
      very small overhead but offers low flexibility for future
      evolution of the traffc mix.

      -A Type field per PDU.  In an heterogeneous traffic environment
      (e.g. a mix of IPv4 and IPv6 packets), it is required that every
      single PDU is labelled with a proper Type field.  This solution
      produces an overhead proportional to the number of transported
      PDUs but offers no limits in its flexibility, since the detailed
      composition of the traffic mix do not affect the encapsulation

   In a context of IPv4 to IPv6 migration and of increased use of the

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   Internet by new applications and users, the last solution seems to be
   the most adapted.  It is also the choice done in ULE.

6.4.  Precise Payload Unit Delineation and Reassembly

   Accurate delineation and identification of scattered SNDU fragments
   must be done by every Receiver.  As an example, ULE achieves
   delineation with the joint use of MPEG2's PUSI, a Payload Pointer and
   a Length field.

   Precise PDU delineation is also required for a future encapsulation
   over Generic Streams.  The implemented solution may define a ULE-like
   header for this, but it may also re-use (partially at least) BBHEADER
   fields that already provide similar functionalities.  It should also
   be robust to synchronization losses, for which a "Payload Pointer
   plus Length field" approach could prove desirable.

   On the other hand, a future encapsulation must provide ways to ensure
   reassembly of a scattered SNDUs even in the case that its fragments
   are not "adjacent" within 2 consecutive BBFRAMEs, which could happen
   if advanced SNDU scheduling/fragmentation procedures are used.  In
   the classical ULE/MPEG2-TS/DVB-S scenario, SNDU fragmentation is done
   over MPEG2 packets of the same flow (same multiplex and PID) with
   Continuity Counters differing only by 1 (modulo 16).  This means that
   a ULE Receiver knows in advance the size and position in the flow of
   the next SNDU chunk needed for proper reassembly.  However, in a
   DVB-S2 context, the scheduling algorithm may chose to send SNDU
   fragments over non-consecutive BBFRAMEs, or place SNDU fragments in
   the middle of a given BBFRAME (cases b., c. and d. of Section 6.2.1).
   Since ULE does not provide tools to locate scattered SNDU fragments
   with a priori unknown positions and lengths in a BBFRAMEs multiplex,
   it cannot be used directly in a GS context.  More advanced reassembly
   procedures will certainly have to be studied.

6.5.  Integrity Check

   For the IP service, the probability of undetected packet error should
   be small or negligible, as stated in RFC 3819 [6].  There is
   therefore a need for a strong error control, either provided by FEC
   or by other means such as CRCs.  FEC has been greatly improved in
   DVB-S2, and it provides means to re-evaluate the way integrity check
   can be done.  The following considerations apply also for packetized

   The CRC-32 used in ULE relies on the use of a 32-bit redundancy for
   each SNDU, intended to stand as a protection against reassembly
   errors following corruption or loss of SNDU bearers, due to
   transmission errors or unexpected hardware/software operation.

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   Concerning resilient channel errors, DVB-S2 FEC has reduced the
   probability of such event by several orders of magnitude compared to
   DVB-S.  Indeed, the implemented LDPC and BCH concatenated encoding
   provide error protection close to the theoretical limits established
   by Shannon in [13].  On top of that, and in addition to their
   correction capabilities, outer BCH decoders can provide very accurate
   error-detection information that could be used to detect and discard
   corrupted BBFRAMEs.  DVB-S2 FEC offers therefore the possibility to
   manage globally the SNDU error-detection problem, done classically on
   a SNDU-by-SNDU basis with CRCs.  Details concerning these particular
   issues are fully analyzed in [14].

   As for BBFRAME losses, only SNDUs with fragments in lost BBFRAMEs
   will face reassembly problems.  A non-fragmented SNDU within a lost
   BBFRAME will be simply lost, even if it had a CRC.  In this context
   it seems adequate to apply CRC integrity checks to the PDUs that may
   suffer SAR.

   Accurate estimation of PER at IP level with or without CRCs should
   drive the design decisions concerning this issue, and not legacy
   considerations based on different or less efficient systems.

6.6.  Link Layer Addressing Capabilities

   Individual Receivers are not addressable at a BBFRAME level.
   MPEG2-TS addressing considerations exposed in RFC 4259 [7] apply
   therefore to BBFRAMEs too and should be used as guidelines for future
   work on this key topic.

   These considerations imply the use of an optional NPA field appended
   to every PDU or group of PDUs sharing the same BBFRAME.  There are
   indeed cases where the use of a NPA is required (e.g. when link layer
   filtering is desired) and if present, it should be carried in a way
   to allow Receivers to pre-filter and discard unwanted PDUs.  There
   are other cases where an NPA is not required (e.g. when a Receiver is
   the end host), and network layer filtering may be used.

   An IP over GS interface should therefore support an optional NPA, as
   current encapsulations for IP over MPEG2-TS do.  The interactions and
   synergies that can be achieved with the use of BBFRAMEs' logical
   channels defined in Section 4.2 are to be analyzed.

6.7.  Flexibility for Future Extension

   The evolution of the Internet service may in the future require
   additional functions.  A flexible encapsulation protocol should
   therefore provide a way to introduce new features when required,
   without having to provide additional out-of-band configuration.  This

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   is not a difference with TS, and a native way to signal header
   extensions (like the Next-Header protocol type in ULE) should be

6.8.  Security Considerations

   Security considerations are basically the same for GS and TS, and are
   based on those concerning wireless links, see RFC 3819 [6].  Although
   an analysis of specific security issues concerning GS is out of the
   scope of this document, it will provide helpful input for addressing
   this important topic in future work.

   Current work on security issues for ULE carried out at the IPDVB
   working group should certainly integrate considerations regarding

7.  Summary

   DVB-S2 offers new possibilities for deploying IP services over
   satellite links, as a successor of DVB-S that offers many IP-friendly

   The new standard's physical adaptability and new framing structure
   motivate therefore a new encapsulation for IP, much more efficient in
   terms of complexity and overhead than the classical MPEG2-TS

   For this, some solutions developped for IP/MPEG2 can be simply
   transposed to DVB-S2, like the use of Type fields or the definition
   of logical channels.  However, the full use of DVB-S2 specificities
   will also need new procedures -like datagram scheduling optimization
   and advanced fragmentation- to be defined from scratch.  Finally,
   other issues like integrity check management might be re-evaluated in
   a DVB-S2 context, taking in account the enhanced error-control
   achieved by the new FEC.

   Finally, DVB-S2 BBFRAMEs are defined in such a way that BBHEADERs
   present some inherent encapsulation capabilities.  The definition of
   a new IP over DVB-S2 adaptation layer could take advantage of this
   handy feature, and open the way for other cross-layer synergies in
   order to improve overall system efficiency.

8.  Acknowledgements

   This document is a result of discussions at IETF 63 and 64, as well
   as on the ipdvb mailing list.  Special thanks to the guidance of

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   ipdvb chairman G. Fairhurst, and to all those who, by their
   curiosity, questions, critics and remarks have made the scientific
   debate concerning DVB-S2 grow.

   This draft is intended as a study item for proposed future work by
   the IETF in this area.  Comments relating to this document will be
   gratefully received by the authors and the ipdvb mailing list at:

9.  Document History
      -00 This draft is intended as a study item for proposed future
      work by the IETF in this area.
      -01 Draft re-written from scratch.  Added a comprehensive glossary
      and a complete introduction to DVB-S2.
      -02 Focused the draft on the delivery of IP service over DVB-S2,
      rather than on a requirements specification.  Integrated a
      converged view of possible fragmentations, and introduced
      important axes for future cross-layer optimization of the IP/
      DVB-S2 protocol stack.  References updated.
      -03 and 04: Minor modifications: withdrawn one author and updated
      one reference.

10.  References

10.1.  Normative References

   [1]  "EN 302 307, Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB); Second generation
        framing structure, channel coding and  modulation systems for
        Broadcasting, Interactive Services, News Gathering and other
        broadband satellite applications. European Telecommunications
        Standards Institute (ETSI)".

   [2]  "EN 301 421, Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB); Modulation and
        Coding for DBS satellite systems at 11/12 GHz, European
        Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)".

   [3]  "ISO/IEC DIS 13818-1: Information Technology; Generic Coding of
        Moving Pictures and Associated Audio information: Systems,
        International Standards Organisation (ISO)".

   [4]  Fairhurst, G. and B. Collini-Nocker, "Unidirectional Lightweight
        Encapsulation (ULE) for transmission of IP datagrams over an
        MPEG-2 Transport Stream", RFC 4326, December 2005.

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10.2.  Informative References

   [5]   "EN 301 192 Specifications for Data Broadcasting, European
         Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)".

   [6]   Karn, P., Borman, C., Fairhurst, G., Grossman, D., Ludwig, R.,
         Mahdavi, J., Montenegro, G., Touch, J., and L. Wood, "Advice
         for Internet Subnetwork Designers", RFC 3819.

   [7]   Montpetit, M., Fairhurst, G., Clausen, H., and H. Linder, "A
         Framework for Transmission of IP Datagrams over MPEG-2
         Networks", RFC 4259, November 2005.

   [8]   "EN 301 790, Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB); Interaction
         Channel for Satellite Distribution Systems. European
         Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)".

   [9]   Jacobson, V., "Compressing TCP/IP Headers for Low-Speed Serial
         Links", RFC 1144.

   [10]  Degermark, M., Nordgren, B., and S. Pink, "IP Header
         Compression", RFC 2507.

   [11]  Bormann et al., C., "RObust Header Compression (ROHC):
         Framework and four profiles: RTP, UDP ESP and uncompressed",
         RFC 3095.

   [12]  Kent, S. and R. Atkinson, "Security Architecture for the
         Internet Protocol", RFC 2401.

   [13]  Shannon, C., "A Mathematical Theory of Information", 1948.

   [14]  Cantillo, J., Lacan, J., and I. Buret, "Cross-layer enhancement
         of error control techniques for adaptation layers of DVB
         satellites", International Journal of Satellite Communications
         and Networking, special issue on Cross-Layer Protocols for
         Satellite Communication Networks, Volume 24, Issue 6, Pages
         579-590, November/December 2006.

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Authors' Addresses

   Juan Cantillo
   ENSICA/TESA/Alcatel Alenia Space
   1, place Emile Blouin
   Toulouse  31056

   Email: juan.cantillo@ensica.fr
   URI:   http://dmi.ensica.fr/auteur.php3?id_auteur=61

   Jerome Lacan
   1, place Emile Blouin
   Toulouse  31056

   Email: jerome.lacan@ensica.fr
   URI:   http://dmi.ensica.fr/auteur.php3?id_auteur=5

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