By interconnecting satellites in the sky with ground stations on earth, space-terrestrial networks can extend the coverage area and increase the throughput for both commercial and nonprofit applications. To realize the seamless and economic sky-to-earth networks, we still have to advance the technologies that bridge different types of channels, and find killer-applications that are essential for our life. In this article we review the current state-of-the-art technologies of multibeam satellites and relaying as fundamental cornerstones, and then address the issues of low-latency random access, mobility support, and multipath protocols for realizing a seamless heterogeneous network. We then illustrate two impactful applications: for emergency communication as a near-future and non-profit application, and for simultaneous transmission of information and power as a long-term application.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering