Satellites have played an important role in global telecommunications. However, transmission control protocol (TCP) suffers performance degradations over satellite links due to the long propagation delay and high bit-error rate. Among methods proposed to alleviate the impact of satellite link characteristics on TCP performance, split TCP connections separated by performance enhancement proxies (PEPs) have been proven attractive because they can keep TCP configurations in the end systems unchanged. While many protocols applied over satellite links between PEPs can effectively mitigate the effect of high loss rates, the long latency still limits the effectiveness of congestion control in these protocols. To minimize the effect of congestion we propose to take advantage of active queue management at the medium access control layer to provide immediate cross-layer feedback to the TCP segment over satellite. This approach also achieves proper differentiation between packet losses due to channel errors and congestion. Simulation results show that our novel mechanism can give substantial improvements in TCP performance over satellite networks, compared to the best performing version of TCP with or without PEPs.
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