Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Scott R. Graham, PhD


It is well documented that assumptions made in the popular Transmission Control Protocol's (TCP) development, while essential in the highly reliable wired environment, are incompatible with today's wireless network realities in what we refer to as a challenged environment. Challenged environments severely degrade the capability of TCP to establish and maintain a communication connection with reasonable throughput. This thesis proposes and implements an intermediate buffering scheme, implemented at the transport layer, which serves as a TCP helper protocol for use in network routing equipment to overcome short and bursty, but regular, link failures. Moreover, the implementation requires no modifications to existing TCP implementations at communicating nodes and integrates well with existing routing equipment. In a simulated six-hop network with five modified routers supporting four challenged links, each with only 60% availability, TCP connections are reliably established and maintained, despite the poor link availability, whereas 94% fail using standard routing equipment, i.e., without the TCP helper protocol.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number