Optimal Traffic Load Allocation for Aloha-Based IoT LEO Constellations

The deployment of satellite networks is key to providing global wireless connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT). In this line, we consider a cluster of IoT devices served by a constellation of low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellites, while slotted Aloha is used as a medium-access-control (MAC) technique in the uplink. To characterize the channel, we employ an ON–OFF fading channel model that estimates the quality of the links between the cluster of IoT devices and the LEO satellites within the constellation, by taking into account their relative positions. Since each relative position of the constellation with respect to the cluster of IoT devices leads to a different throughput for a given traffic load, we propose a novel traffic load distribution strategy based on successive convex approximation (SCA) to maximize the system throughput. The method adequately allocates the traffic load among the different constellation positions with respect to the IoT cluster. Finally, the results show that the proposed method outperforms other recently proposed strategies based on heuristics for traffic load allocation, while it also achieves a stable nonzero throughput even for large traffic loads.