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Opportunity at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

Integrating Performance Enhanced Proxies with Bundle Protocols over High Assurance Internet Protocol Encryptions

Location

Space Vehicles Directorate, RV/Space and Planetary Sciences

RO# Location
13.40.01.C0062 Kirtland Air Force Base, NM 871175776

Advisers

Name E-mail Phone
Pham, Khanh Dai khanh.pham.1@us.af.mil 505.846.4823

Description

Today, almost all of Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) architectures are based on the Bundle layer between Transport and Application layers. By installing DTN Bundle protocols on end-points and on nodes at the border of homogeneous segments, the resulting end-to-end paths are divided in many DTN hops. On each DTN hop a different protocol stack can be used, like Transport Control Protocol (TCP) or User Datagram Protocol (UDP), or different versions of the same protocol. Therefore, data transfers from DTN senders to DTN receivers are now provided by the Bundle protocols, which exchange large data packets, called “bundles”, between DTN nodes through a store-and-forward relay mechanism. On the other hand, recent research and development ventures have introduced Performance-Enhancing Proxies (PEPs), which are network agents designed to improve end-to-end performance of some communications protocols. Most satellite-optimized PEPs use TCP splitting techniques based on Space Communications Protocol Specifications-Transport Protocol (SCPS-TP). They are intended to address satellite impairments by isolating satellite segments from the rest of the network. However, with the advent of High Assurance Internet Protocol Encryptions (HAIPEs), both DTN and PEP now face a common problem in the presence of HAIPE devices. Specifically, the use of Internet Protocol security (IPsec) end-to-end encryption of HAIPEs prevents Bundle or PEPs from viewing or modifying TCP headers. Bundle cannot process the store-and-forward scheme and PEPs cannot transparently break the end-to-end TCP connections to substitute their own protocols over satellite links. Consequently, Bundle and PEPs are often disabled when used with HAIPEs, and thus network bandwidths in SATCOM links are not fully utilized.

Towards increasing SATCOM throughputs while minimizing intrinsic delays and disruptions, this research opportunity is soliciting innovations to integrate Bundle with PEPs and HAIPE seamlessly. Prospective researchers shall investigate necessary scientific foundations, innovative design principles, and feasible add-on modules, including but not limited to (1) integrating PEPs into Bundle protocols and (2i) handing Bundle and PEP protocol data within IPsec tunnels.

 

References

Amin R, Ripplinger D, Mehta D, Cheng BN: “Design considerations in applying disruption tolerant networking to tactical edge networks”. IEEE Communications Magazine 53(10): 32-38, 2015

Caini C, Cornice P, Firrincieli R, Livini M, Lacamera D: “TCP, PEP and DTN performance on disruptive satellite channels”. International Workshop on Satellite and Space Communications: 371-375, 2009

 

Keywords:
DTN; Bundle; PEP; HAIPE; Network throughput; Delays; SATCOM; TCP flows; Store-and-forward; IPsec; Cyber threats; Confidentiality; Efficiency;

Eligibility

Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants
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