Getting up to speed with satellite broadband

   School of Engineering

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  Prof G Fairhurst, Dr R Secchi  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The TCP performance over satellite communications has become a well-known problem, following significant experimentation with Internet services over satellite the concept of a Performance Enhancing Proxy (PEP) is now widely used in current satellite systems, where a native end-to-end TCP connection is now commonly split into a series of multiple connection. This allows a tailored TCP to be deployed on the satellite link (i.e., between the satellite terminals and gateways to be optimised). 

Since 2000, there has been an effort to evolve the protocol stack for Internet web services, with several updates to the protocols for HTTP-based service, culminating in the latest QUIC protocol. QUIC uses a UDP substrate that was published as IETF QUIC in 2021. QUIC uses encrypted datagram connections, with congestion control directly implemented within the QUIC protocol. This design intrinsically prevents using a classical PEP to optimise performance over satellite. Given the growing use of satellite Internet (GEO and LEO) there is therefore a need to think of new solutions for QUIC congestion control to accelerate QUIC performance when using satellite systems.

This PhD project will work with congestion control experts to propose new approaches for QUIC CC mechanisms and understanding the implications of deploying the new approaches as a part of a secure end-to-end architecture. The project will proceed in parallel with research in the School of Engineering into transport protocol performance funded by the European Space Agency and is expected to result in a novel algorithm that can be validated using real satellite trials to evaluate the effectiveness of the new solution. 

Selection will be made on the basis of academic merit. The successful candidate should have, or expect to obtain, a UK Honours Degree at 2.1 or above in Electrical/Electronic Engineering; software engineering.


Formal applications can be completed online:

• Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering

• State name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor

• State ‘Self-funded’ as Intended Source of Funding

• State the exact project title on the application form

When applying please ensure all required documents are attached:

• All degree certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate AND Postgraduate MSc-officially translated into English where necessary)

• Detailed CV, Personal Statement/Motivation Letter and Intended source of funding

Computer Science (8) Engineering (12) Environmental Sciences (13)

Funding Notes

This PhD project has no funding attached and is therefore available to students (UK/International) who are able to seek their own funding or sponsorship. Supervisors will not be able to respond to requests to source funding. Details of the cost of study can be found by visiting

Where will I study?

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