StarryNet: Empowering Researchers to Evaluate Futuristic Integrated Space and Terrestrial Networks


Zeqi Lai and Hewu Li, Tsinghua University and Zhongguancun Laboratory; Yangtao Deng, Tsinghua University; Qian Wu, Jun Liu, and Yuanjie Li, Tsinghua University and Zhongguancun Laboratory; Jihao Li, Lixin Liu, and Weisen Liu, Tsinghua University; Jianping Wu, Tsinghua University and Zhongguancun Laboratory


Futuristic integrated space and terrestrial networks (ISTN) not only hold new opportunities for pervasive, low-latency Internet services, but also face new challenges caused by satellite dynamics on a global scale. It should be useful for researchers to run various experiments to systematically explore new problems in ISTNs. However, existing experimentation methods either attain realism but lack flexibility (e.g. live satellites), or achieve flexibility but lack realism (e.g. ISTN simulators).

This paper presents StarryNet, a novel experimentation framework that enables researchers to conveniently build credible and flexible experimental network environments (ENE) mimicking satellite dynamics and network behaviors of large-scale ISTNs. StarryNet simultaneously achieves constellation-consistency, networked system realism and flexibility, by adopting a real-data-driven, lightweight-emulation-aided approach to build a digital twin of physical ISTNs in the terrestrial virtual environment. Driven by public and real constellation-relevant information, we show StarryNet's acceptable fidelity and demonstrate its flexibility to support various ISTN experiments, such as evaluating different inter-networking mechanisms for space-ground integration, and assessing the network resilience of futuristic ISTNs.

NSDI '23 Open Access Sponsored by
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

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@inproceedings {285054,
author = {Zeqi Lai and Hewu Li and Yangtao Deng and Qian Wu and Jun Liu and Yuanjie Li and Jihao Li and Lixin Liu and Weisen Liu and Jianping Wu},
title = {{StarryNet}: Empowering Researchers to Evaluate Futuristic Integrated Space and Terrestrial Networks},
booktitle = {20th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 23)},
year = {2023},
isbn = {978-1-939133-33-5},
address = {Boston, MA},
pages = {1309--1324},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = apr
Lai Paper (Prepublication) PDF

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