• Location InterContinental Sydney, Australia
  • Date 21 Oct 2022
  • Speakers 7 Speakers

How do we connect the next billion users to the Internet? How do we capture high-resolution pictures of the Earth, or enable massive-scale IoT across industries? How do we bring compute closer to users? Over the past decade, significant reductions in satellite production and launch costs have opened up a new `space’ – access to Low-Earth Orbits or LEO. Massive constellations consisting of hundreds to tens of thousands of low-flying satellites are being rolled out to beam Internet from space, offer unprecedented resolution imagery services, support globally distributed IoT, provide 5G backhaul, and bring edge even closer to users. The research community needs the right tools to explore various unforeseen opportunities (like global coverage, low-latency connectivity, and high-resolution imagery) and challenges (like extreme mobility, bottlenecked downlinks, and sparse ground infrastructure) that come with LEO deployments. LEOCONN 2022, a 1-day tutorial session, is aimed at offering deep insights on LEO state-of-the-art and related research problems. It covers many of the tools being built by the community over the last few years that enable research in this area. By the end of the session, attendees will have a holistic understanding of the LEO space and knowledge of the available and upcoming tools to explore the same.

LEOCONN 2022 covers the following broad topics (check the talk abstracts below for further details):

  • Space IoT opportunities and challenges
  • LEO edge computing
  • LEO Earth observation
  • 5G + LEO integration
  • Simulators, emulators, and real testbed deployments

LEOCONN 2021 was organized as a webinar in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and necessary travel restrictions. Nevertheless, the event managed to generate significant interest and broad participation: 150+ industry attendees, 30+ attendees in top leadership positions, 20+ professors from top-50 universities, 100+ academic attendees from top-50 universities, 10 Government space agencies, and 38 countries. For LEOCONN 2022 too, we have interesting tutorial talks lined up with unique exposure to available tools around the LEO space. We hope to see a similar enthusiasm this year. See you in Syndey!


Each talk will be 40 min long followed by a 10 min Q/A session.
Note: all times are in Sydney local time.

09.00 - 09.10
09.10 - 10.00

Abstract: After many years of anticipation, low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite Internet for consumers has finally arrived. For some, anyway. This tutorial talk explains where the challenges lie: How constellation design influences who gets service and who does not, why gateway strategy is important, how we might end up using distributed routing schemes and IPv6 to send packets through multiple satellites in mega-constellations, why the exact design of inter-satellite laser links matters, why the direct-to-site delivery model chosen by current LEO providers makes viral cat videos bad news for users, and what Montana can teach us about Ukraine.

Bio: Ulrich Speidel trained as a physicist in Germany and New Zealand, only to find himself with a PhD in Computer Science and eventually as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland, doing information theory for a long while with various excursions into the upper layers of the protocol stack. He has been a visiting associate professor at the University of Tokyo and a visiting scientist at MIT, where he learned about network coding and went to try this out on actual satellite links in the Pacific. He established the Auckland Internet Satellite Simulator Facility capable of simulating GEO and MEO links into many Pacific Islands destinations, and is now finding the hype around LEO satellites hard to ignore. As part of his research, he has worked with engineers, mathematicians, computer scientists, Internet folk, tourism researchers, volcanologists and tsunami experts, and other interesting people.
10.00 - 10.20
10.20 - 11.10

Abstract: We are witnessing the birth of a new kind of high-bandwidth, low-latency connectivity, provided by so-called "mega constellations" of thousands of satellites. SpaceX’s Starlink, Amazon’s Kuiper, OneWeb, and many others are sending thousands of satellites to the Low Earth Orbit (LEO), cutting down latency to tens of milliseconds whilst supporting over 100Mbps bandwidths. However, we believe fundamental changes are needed from a computer networking perspective to make this vision work at scale.
In this talk, we will present a realistic emulation platform that is designed to emulate LEO mega-constellations represented using both virtualised and physical nodes (i.e., compute and radios) offering high degree of realism and wide range of scalable and real-time experimentations. This enables the research community to better understand the complexity of such network, as well as, rethink, design and test new protocols/algorithms across all the protocol stack layers.
We will conclude by discussing the recent measurement study we conducted on Starlink LEO network to study the spatial and temporal characteristics as well as geographic variability of Starlink. We will go through the tools and tests we conducted for the purpose of that study.

Bio: Mohamed received the Ph.D. degree in computer science from The University of Edinburgh, UK, in 2020, under the supervision of Prof. M. K. Marina and his M.Sc. degree in wireless networks from Cairo University in 2014. He is currently a research fellow at the University of Surrey, UK. Prior to this, he was a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the Faculty of Computers and Artificial Intelligent, Cairo University, Egypt. His research interests focus on aspects relevant to the next-generation Internet, wireless, and mobile (5G and beyond) networks, including, LEO satellites mega-constellation, 5G mobile network architecture, vRAN, Multi-RAT systems, spectrum sharing, and Universal Internet Access.
11.10 - 12.00

Abstract: Upstart space companies are building massive constellations of low-flying satellites to provide Internet service. These developments comprise “one giant leap” in Internet infrastructure, promising global coverage and lower latency. However, fully exploiting the potential of such satellite constellations requires tackling their inherent challenges: thousands of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites travel at high velocities relative to each other, and to terrestrial ground stations. The resulting highly dynamic connectivity is at odds with the Internet’s design, which assumes a largely static core infrastructure. Virtually every aspect of Internet design — physical interconnection, routing, congestion control, and application behavior — will need substantial rethinking to integrate this new building block.
In this talk, I will present Hypatia, a framework for simulating and visualizing LEO networks that we built to enable broader research in this area. Using publicly available design details for the upcoming networks to drive our framework, we characterize the expected behavior of these networks, including latency and link utilization fluctuations over time, and the implications of these variations for congestion control and routing.
I will conclude by discussing the benefits of building a globally spanning measurement infrastructure for LEO broadband networks, much like PlanetLab and MeasurementLab for the Internet today. The envisioned testbed will empower the research community to study the various temporal and spatial aspects of these highly dynamic “new space” networks.

Bio: Debopam joined Microsoft Research - India as a Senior Researcher after receiving his PhD in computer networks from ETH Zurich in 2021. His research focuses on “new space” satellite networks, low latency terrestrial networks, and Internet architecture. Debopam earned his masters degree from KTH Royal Institute of Technology. He earned his bachelors degree in computer science from Jadavpur University. For further details, please refer to his Web page: https://bdebopam.github.io
12.00 - 13.30
13.30 - 14.20

Abstract: Satellite network is the first step towards interstellar voyages. It can provide global Internet connectivity everywhere on the earth, where most areas cannot access the Internet by the terrestrial infrastructure due to the geographic accessibility and high deployment cost. The space industry experiences a rise in large low-earth-orbit satellite constellations to achieve universal connectivity. The research community is also urgent to do some leading research to bridge the connectivity divide. Researchers now conduct their work by simulation, which is far from enough. However, experiments on real satellites are hindered by the exceptionally high bar of space technology, such as deployment cost and unknown risks. To solve the above challenges, we are eager to contribute to the universal connectivity and build an open research platform, Tiansuan constellation(www.tiansuan.org.cn), to support experiments on real six satellites. We first introduce the platform architecture, and then discuss the potential research topics that would benefit from the platform. Moreover, we talk about how to use it for research. Finally, we show four case studies (i.e., satellite-borne 5G core network system, native-cloud satellite platform, satellite-ground AI reasoning, DOIP satellite node) that have already been deployed in three satellites.

Bio: Shangguang Wang is a Professor at the School of Computer Science, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT), China. He received the Ph.D. degree in computer science from BUPT in 2011. He is the founder & chief scientist of the Tiansuan Constellation. His research interests include service computing, mobile edge computing, and satellite computing. He is currently serving as chair of IEEE Technical Committy on Services Computing, and vice chair of IEEE Technical Committee on Cloud Computing. He also served as general chairs or program chairs of 10+ IEEE conferences. He is a Fellow of the IET, senior member of the IEEE. For further information on Dr. Wang, please visit: http://www.sgwang.org
14.20 - 15.10

Abstract: More than 80% of the world’s surface does not have Internet connectivity. While multiple companies are commercially bringing broadband connectivity to “people” in remote locations, these solutions are very expensive for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Over 75B IoT devices are expected by 2025, and lack of IoT connectivity in 80% of the Earth’s surface is preventing several industries that operate in remote sites, such as Agriculture, Renewables, Fisheries, Supply Chain, etc., from realizing the true potential of data and AI. As a result, a revolution of IoT industry in space has the utmost importance. Several business ventures have already started rolling the wheel. Hundreds of satellites have been launched till date. Although launching satellite has become nondescript now-a-days, “IoT in space” brings about unique needs, opportunities, and challenges. In this talk, we will walk you through how today’s “IoT in space” industry looks like and how we can actively shape up the future.

Bio: I am a Research Software Engineer at Microsoft Research (MSR), Redmond. My work focuses on the Internet of Things (IoT) and Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs). I build end-to-end real-world networking systems that light up new business opportunities for Microsoft with novel research directions. In my early days at Microsoft, I worked on FarmBeats: AI, Edge, and IoT for Agriculture. As a part of it, we came up with a novel idea of IoT sensor fault detection leveraging the hardware signature. These works were shipped as Microsoft Azure products and services. For the last couple of years, I have been driving the effort of enabling IoT in the TV White Space (TVWS) spectrum. We have worked with the US Federal Communication Commissions (FCC) to adopt regulations on the operations of IoT devices in the TVWS. Currently, I am working on space IoT industry.
15.10 - 15.30
15.30 - 16.20

Abstract: New Earth-observation capabilities enabled by large constellations - e.g., daily global coverage - are limited by continued adherence to bent-pipe satellite operations. Additionally, new challenges - e.g., effectively managing a large constellation by remote control - arise in a more crowded low-Earth orbit (LEO). For example, a proliferated LEO exacerbates the downlink bottleneck: Earth-observation satellites and constellations observe much more data than can be downlinked per orbit revolution.
These challenges are addressed by orbital edge computing (OEC): colocating computing resources with sensors on orbit to process data before transmission. Because evaluating all proposed OEC schemes in orbit is not practical, we have developed the "cote" software library and simulation environment to assess these proposals in simulation. This software tool models satellite orbital mechanics, rotation of the Earth, relative ground station locations, and satellite subsystem characteristics, such as harvested and stored energy, data collection, computation, and communication, and radio bitrates. The open source "cote" software simulation environment supports rapid exploration and evaluation in low-Earth orbit computational space systems.

Bio: Brad Denby is a PhD candidate in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University advised by Prof Brandon Lucia. His research is at the intersection of computer systems and space systems. He has published work in this area at the ACM International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS) and the IEEE Computer Architecture Letters (CAL), both of which received Best Paper awards. During his PhD, he helped to lead a team that designed and manufactured a small satellite from scratch for launch into low-Earth orbit.
16.20 - 17.10

Abstract:Researchers have proposed to embed compute resources within low-Earth orbit satellite constellations to provide computing services on the LEO Edge. The high cost of such infrastructure, harsh environment of space, rapid mobility of LEO satellites, and the size of the satellite constellations that are currently being proposed and built will all pose significant research challenges to running services on the LEO Edge. On virtual cloud testbeds built using Celestial, researchers can quickly iterate on platforms and software systems for the LEO Edge to test and evaluate their ideas using real code and tooling, even without access to physical satellite infrastructure.
In this tutorial, we will first introduce the opportunities and current research challenges of the LEO Edge and discuss how we have built Celestial to help researchers evaluate LEO Edge software systems in the cloud. In a hands-on live demonstration, we then build and run an example application using a Celestial virtual LEO satellite testbed.

Bio: "Tobias is a research associate and PhD student at the Mobile Cloud Computing research group of Technische Universität Berlin and Einstein Center Digital Future in Berlin, Germany. He is currently also an intern research associate at Hewlett Packard Labs in Milpitas, California. His research revolves around the intersection of large low-Earth orbit satellite networks and edge/fog computing, with a special focus on platforms for applications and data management. "
17.10 - 17.15


Debopam Bhattacherjee

Microsoft Research - India

Mohammed Kassem

University of Surrey

For general queries on this tutorial contact: debopamb@microsoft.com m.kassem@surrey.ac.uk
For Web page related queries contact: a.abubakar@surrey.ac.uk