Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Richard A. Raines, PhD


This research explored the implementation of Protocol Independent Multicasting - Dense Mode (PIM-DM) in a LEO satellite constellation. PIM-DM is a terrestrial protocol for distributing traffic efficiently between subscriber nodes by combining data streams into a tree-based structure, spreading from the root of the tree to the branches. Using this structure, a minimum number of connections are required to transfer data, decreasing the load on intermediate satellite routers. The PIM-DM protocol was developed for terrestrial systems and this research implemented an adaptation of this protocol in a satellite system. This research examined the PIM-DM performance characteristics which were compared to earlier work for On- Demand Multicast Routing Protocol (ODMRP) and Distance Vector Multicasting Routing Protocol (DVMRP) - all in a LEO satellite network environment. Experimental results show that PIM-DM is extremely scalable and has equivalent performance across diverse workloads. Three performance metrics are used to determine protocol performance in the dynamic LEO satellite environment, including Data-to- Overhead ratio, Received-to-Sent ratio, and End-to-End Delay. The OPNET® simulations show that the PIM-DM Data-to-Overhead ratio is approximately 80% and the protocol reliability is extremely high, achieving a Receive-to-Sent ratio of 99.98% across all loading levels. Finally, the PIM-DM protocol introduces minimal delay, exhibiting an average End-to-End Delay of approximately 76 ms; this is well within the time necessary to support real-time communications. Though fundamental differences between the DVMRP, ODMRP, and PIM-DM implementations precluded a direct comparison for each experiment, by comparing average values, PIM-DM generally provides equivalent or better performance.

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