|dc.description.abstract||This study considers the meteor-burst communication (MBC) environment at
three levels. At the lowest level, the trails themselves are studied and analysed.
Then individual links are studied in order to determine the data throughput and
wait time that might be expected at various data rates. Finally, at the top level,
MBC networks are studied in order to provide information on the effects of
routing strategies, topologies, and connectivity in such networks.
A significant amount of theoretical work has been done in the classification of
meteor trails, and the analysis of the throughput potential of the channel. At the
same time the issues of wait time on MBC links, and MBC network strategies,
have been largely ignored. The work presented here is based on data captured
on actual monitoring links, and is intended to provide both an observational
comparison to theoretical predictions in the well-researched areas, and a source
of base information for the others.
Chapter 1 of this thesis gives an overview of the field of meteor-burst communications.
Prior work in the field is discussed, as are the advantages and disadvantages
of the channel, and current application areas.
Chapter 2 describes work done on the classification of observed meteor trails
into distinctive 'families'. The rule-based system designed for this task is discussed
as well as the eventual classification schema produced, which is far more
comprehensive and consistent than previously proposed schemas.
Chapter 3 deals with the throughput potential of the channel, based on the
observed trails. A comparison to predicted results, both as regards fixed and
adaptive data-rates, is made with some notable differences between predicted
results and observed results highlighted. The trail families with the largest
contribution to the throughput capacity of the channel are identified.
Chapter 4 deals with wait time in meteor-burst communications. The data rates
at which wait time is minimised in the links used are found, and compared to the
rates at which throughput was optimised. These are found to be very different,
as indeed are the contributions of the various trail families at these rates.
Chapter 5 describes a software system designed to analyse the effect of routing
strategies in MBC networks, and presents initial results derived from this
system. Certain features of the channel, in particular its sporadic nature, are
shown to have significant effects on network performance.
Chapter 6 continues the presentation of network results, specifically concentrating
on the effect of topologies and connectivity within MBC networks.
Chapter 7 concludes the thesis, highlighting suggested areas for further research
as well as summarising the more important results presented.||en