LEOCONN Webinar Series


How do we connect the next billion users to the Internet? How do we capture high-resolution pictures of the Earth, or enable massive-scale IoT across industries? How do we bring compute closer to users? Over the past decade, significant reductions in satellite production and launch costs have opened up a new `space’ – access to Low-Earth Orbits or LEO. Massive constellations consisting of hundreds to tens of thousands of low-flying satellites are being rolled out to beam Internet from space, offer unprecedented resolution imagery services, support globally distributed IoT, provide 5G backhaul, and bring edge even closer to users. The research community needs the right tools to explore various unforeseen opportunities (like global coverage, low-latency connectivity, and high-resolution imagery) and challenges (like extreme mobility, bottlenecked downlinks, and sparse ground infrastructure) that come with LEO deployments.

Reflecting on community feedback and the interest that the past LEOCONN events (linked above) have managed to generate, we believe this is the right time to bring the LEO community closer together to explore synergies and collaborate, across industry and academia. Toward this, we are hosting a LEOCONN webinar series (WS). We will have one webinar session every ~2 months, and host 2 notable speakers per session who would give deep technical talks on LEO networks and applications.

Subscribe to the LEOCONN Webinar Series mailing list to get more information about LEOCONN WS schedule, speakers, and community updates. We will be announcing the upcoming event very soon!
Get in touch with the organizers if you would like to give a talk at LEOCONN WS.


Date and Time Speaker Information
Mar 20, 2024
16:30 - 17:00 UTC

Jianchuan Liu, Full Professor in the School of Computing Science, Simon Fraser University
Sami Ma, Ph.D. Student in the School of Computing Science, Simon Fraser University

Jianchuan Liu Sami Ma

Bio: Jiangchuan Liu is a Professor at Simon Fraser University, BC, Canada. He is a Fellow of The Canadian Academy of Engineering and an IEEE Fellow. He received BEng (cum laude) from Tsinghua and PhD from HKUST. He has served on the editorial boards of IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials, and IEEE Internet of Things Journal. He was a Steering Committee member of IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing and Steering Committee Chair of IEEE/ACM IWQoS. He was a TPC Co-Chair of IEEE INFOCOM'2021 and General Co-Chair of IEEE INFOCOM'24.

Sami Ma is a third year Ph.D. student in Computing Science at Simon Fraser University (SFU), BC, Canada. His research is focused on networking solutions on low earth orbit satellite networks for computational offloading and computer vision solutions for wild salmon preservation. Previously, he worked in AltumView Systems as a Software Engineer, setting up and maintaining automated build systems. He received his B.Sc. degree with distinction in Computing Science at SFU, BC, Canada in 2019.

Talk Title: Understanding the Performance of LEO Satellite Networks: Insights from Starlink End-User Measurements

Abstract: Low Earth Orbit Satellite Networks (LSNs) has been advocated as pivotal for achieving global connectivity in the next generation 6G infrastructure. Our talk will provide our initial insights into the current LSN performance, with a focus on Starlink, highlighting LSNs' potential in achieving global internet coverage. Our findings reveal notable fluctuations in user experience compared to terrestrial networks, with Starlink subscribers facing variability in throughput, latency, and service disruptions, largely influenced by satellite dynamics and environmental factors like terrain, weather conditions, and temperature. We analyzed Starlink’s existing bent-pipe relay method, especially its efficiency over cross-ocean communications, and considered mobility and portability capabilities. Our research extends to evaluating Starlink in different settings, from urban environments to remote wild locations, discovering the operational and societal challenges of implementing LSNs across diverse landscapes. This talk aims to contribute to the understanding of LSNs' role in future global connectivity solutions.

Talk Link

Mar 20, 2024
16:00 - 16:30 UTC

Nitinder Mohan, Postdoctoral fellow in Chair of Connected Mobility, Technical University of Munich, Germany

Nitinder Mohan

Bio: Nitinder Mohan is a senior researcher in the Chair of Connected Mobility at Technical University of Munich, Germany. His research interests are in scalable edge computing orchestration, next-generation network systems for reliable communication in mobile environments, satellite networks, multipath communications, and others — and wide-scale Internet measurements. He received his Ph.D. from University of Helsinki and M.Tech. from IIIT Delhi. His Ph.D. dissertation received "Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation Award 2020" by the IEEE Technical Committee of Scalable Computing (TCSC). He also the co-founder and co-organizer of IEEE PerFail and ACM LEO-NET workshop series.

Talk Title: A Multifaceted Look at Starlink Network Performance

Abstract: Starlink, with its expansive constellation size, is fundamentally transforming global Internet connectivity — positioning itself as a potential "global ISP" that can end global Internet monopolies and close connectivity gaps in remote and disaster-affected areas. Prior investigations into Starlink's network performance have been region-specific and lack a holistic understanding of its global operations. In this talk, I will unveil findings from our first extensive, longitudinal study of Starlink's network performance. Our analysis provides a global overview of Starlink's bandwidth and latency metrics, identifying key factors that influence its service quality. Additionally, I will explore Starlink's dynamic reconfiguration of its satellite links and examine the network's capability to support real-time applications such as video conferencing and cloud gaming.

Talk Link

Dec 13, 2023
15:00 UTC

theNetworkingChannel panel discussion on LEO Satellite Mega Constellations – the `New Space’ potential


Reusable boosters and compact satellite design have made it viable to deploy thousands of low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites offering broadband Internet, imagery, IoT, and other services from space. Inter-satellite lasers and low latencies of LEO make communication efficient. The panelists will discuss these opportunities alongside the challenges that might arise due to fast-moving LEO satellites, transient up/down links, weather and interference issues, ground station scarcity, and many other factors. They will also touch upon the interesting systems research challenges.

Speakers: Brandon Lucia [CMU], Ranveer Chandra [Microsoft], Lili Qiu [Microsoft Research Asia, UT Austin], Cristel Pelsser[UC Louvain], Aravindh Raman [Sky, Telefonica Research], François Michel [UCLouvain]

Organizers: Jim Kurose [UMass], Nishanth Sastry [USurrey], Debopam Bhattacherjee [Microsoft Research India], Mohamed Kassem [USurrey]

Link to the event page

Video Link

Sep 27, 2023
12:30 - 13:00 UTC

Steve Song, Policy Advisor with the Mozilla Corporation and the Association for Progressive Communications

Steve Song

Bio: Steve Song is a Policy Advisor with the Mozilla Corporation; a consultant on access regulation and policy to the Association for Progressive Communications (APC); and, a research partner with theNetwork Startup Resource Center (NSRC). His blog, manypossibilities dot net, is a popular destination for anyone working on African telecommunications and internet issues. Since 2009, Steve has been actively maintaining public maps of undersea and terrestrial fibre optic infrastructure in Africa. He is also the founder of Village Telco, a social enterprise that manufactured low-cost WiFi mesh VoIP technologies to deliver affordable voice and Internet service inunder-serviced areas. Previously, Steve worked at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) where he led the organization's ICTs for Development program in Africa, funding research into the transformational potential of ICTs.

Talk Title: Starlink: Celestial Savior, Corporate Conquest, or both?

Abstract: Much has been written about the potential of LEO satellites to deliver affordable connectivity to the unserved but the focus has tended to be on the technological innovation that Starlink and other constellations represent. This talk will attempt to weigh the pros and cons of Starlink connectivity from the point of view of digital empowerment in unserved communities.

Sep 27, 2023
12:00 - 12:30 UTC

Zeqi Lai, Assistant Professor , Institute for Network Sciences and Cyberspace, Tsinghua University

Zeqi Lai

Bio: Zeqi Lai is an assistant professor at the Institute for Network Sciences and Cyberspace, Tsinghua University. Before joining Tsinghua University, he was a senior researcher at Tencent Media Lab from 2018 to 2019 and developed the network protocols and congestion control algorithms for WeMeet/VooV, a large-scale commercial videoconferencing application. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Tsinghua University in 2018 and B.E. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China in 2013. He was a visiting scholar in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University from 2016 to 2017. His research interests include computer networking, wireless and mobile computing, video streaming, integrated space and terrestrial networks. His works are published at conferences or journals such as ACM MobiCom, USENIX NSDI, IEEE INFOCOM, IEEE ICNP, IEEE ToN, and IEEE TMC.

Talk Title: Megaconstellations in Your Office: Rapid Prototyping for Future Integrated Space and Terrestrial Networks

Abstract: We are entering a new era of satellite Internet. Future integrated space and terrestrial networks (ISTN) not only hold new opportunities for pervasive, low-latency Internet services but also involve new challenges caused by satellite dynamics on a global scale. It should be helpful for researchers to run various experiments to explore new problems in ISTNs systematically. In this talk, we introduce StarryNet, a novel experimentation framework that enables researchers to build experimental network environments mimicking satellite dynamics and network behaviors of large-scale ISTNs. StarryNet leverages a real-data-driven, lightweight emulation-aided approach to build a digital twin of physical ISTNs in a laboratory setting. We will show StarryNet’s effectiveness and flexibility to support various space-terrestrial networking experiments.

Apr 27, 2023
13:30 - 14:00 UTC

Mike Puchol, Co-founder & CTO at Poa Internet (Kenya)

Mike Puchol

Bio: Mike Puchol is a seasoned technologist and entrepreneur with a diverse background in aeronautical and mechanical engineering, software and hardware development, wireless communications, and security. As the CTO and co-founder of Poa! Internet, Mike has played a key role in Kenya's largest low-cost ISP, serving underprivileged communities with affordable broadband access. Poa's innovative approach to technology, including the integration of fiber, wireless, and free-space optics, caused it to win the prestigious Africa50 Innovation Challenge in 2020.
With a passion for problem-solving and a self-taught approach to learning, Mike's expertise spans multiple industries, and he is known for his hands-on development experience, commercial acumen, and unique insight into business processes. Recently, he began learning about LEO constellations, with a focus on SpaceX’s Starlink, to the point of launching a website which very accurately simulates the system, using real orbital data from active satellites.
Outside of his professional pursuits, Mike was a volunteer firefighter for 23 years, and is now actively involved in social impact and animal rescue programs.

Talk Title: LEO constellations: leapfrogging connectivity issues in the rest of Africa

Abstract: On lessons learned from operating a WISP in Africa, and how LEO constellations could help some of the pain points experienced over the past eight years.

Talk Link

Apr 27, 2023
13:00 - 13:30 UTC

Arashmid Akhavain, Leader of advanced networking research at Huawei Canada Research Centre

Arashmid Akhavain

Bio: Arashmid Akhavain is a network and system architect, a research engineer, and the leader of the Advanced Networking Research team under the Wireless Systems Division at Huawei Canada Research Centre.
He received his degree in Computer Engineering from Concordia University in Montreal and started his career at Bell Northern Research (BNR) in Advanced Intelligent Networks and SS7 signalling.
He has since worked in a number of different companies such as Cisco Systems, Nortel, and Ciena where he held leading roles in numerous projects involving architecture, design, and implementation of various systems, control and data plane engines and protocols.
Arashmid has over 30 years of extensive design experience in a diverse set of networking technologies ranging from ATM, Ethernet, IP, MPLS, to VPN and large-scale Traffic Engineering, to SDN, NFV, Segment Routing, and Mobile Networks.
Arashmid has contributed to a number of publications and standards submissions. He is a prolific patent contributor and is currently focusing on a variety of research topics such as satellite networks, machine learning, cyber twin, metaverse, and blockchain; and exploring their use, inclusion, and impact in 6G networks and beyond at Huawei Canada.

Talk Title: Non Terrestrial Networks: Laying out the foundation for ubiquitous network coverage

Abstract: The advent of technologies such as Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles (EELV), EELV Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA), and reusable rockets has driven the launching cost of satellites down which when combined with the recent progress in satellite design makes satellite networks an attractive method for extending mobile and broadband services to everywhere on earth.
In this presentation, we briefly discuss some of the challenges faced by massive satellite networks, talk about some of the networking, addressing, routing, and forwarding issues in these hyper dynamic topology networks, and describe some of the concerns that massive satellite networks need to address when integrating with existing mobile networks.

Talk Link

Feb 24, 2023
17:00 - 17:30 UTC

Dan York, Director, Internet Technology, at the Internet Society

Dan York

Bio: Dan York is the Director, Internet Technology, at the Internet Society and in 2022 led the organization's Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite project, seeking to understand the benefits and challenges of this new way to provide Internet access. With the Internet Society, Dan has also had roles involving DNS security, web security, TLS, IPv6, communications, IETF participation, and more. Prior to joining the Internet Society in 2011, Dan spent over 10 years working with Voice-over-IP (VoIP) security and was involved with Linux and open source technologies. Since the mid-1980's Dan has been working with online communication technologies and helping businesses and organizations understand how to use and participate in those new media. Dan frequently presents at conferences, has authored multiple books, participates in several podcasts, and writes extensively online. More info can be found at https://danyork.me

Talk Title: Technology and Policy Questions We All Must Ask As More LEO Systems Launch

Abstract: Companies such as SpaceX, OneWeb, Amazon, Telesat, and many others are racing to launch large systems of Low Earth Orbit satellites (LEOs) to provide Internet access. While they can help bridge the digital divide, particularly in rural regions, they could put Internet access into the hands of a few large companies and introduce new security and privacy concerns. What are the opportunities with LEO systems? What are the concerns that regulators, policy makers, technologists, and individuals should be thinking about? How can we use LEO systems to connect more people, while ensuring the Internet remains open, globally connected, secure and trustworthy? The Internet Society, a global nonprofit focused on building a bigger, stronger Internet for everyone, researched LEO systems in 2022. Dan York, leader of the 2022 project, will explain what they found, how secure the systems may or may not be, and most importantly, what questions we all need to be asking as these systems expand.

Talk Link

Feb 24, 2023
16:30 - 17:00 UTC

Vaibhav Bhosale, PhD Student at Georgia Tech

Vaibhav Bhosale

Bio: Vaibhav Bhosale is a second-year Ph.D. student at Georgia Tech. His research is focused on building systems and networking solutions for LEO satellite networks. His main research agenda is to build software abstractions that can enable application developers and users to use this new frontier of computing seamlessly. He has explored different aspects related to LEO satellite networks such as application deployment, route variability, and cellular deployment. He completed his undergraduate studies at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) and his master's at Georgia Tech and has interned at Microsoft AfO, Mediatek, and IBM in the past.

Talk Title: Enabling the LEO Satellite Edge Ecosystem

Abstract: The rapid increase in the number of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites has created a unique opportunity to provide ubiquitous access to compute resources across the globe. However, for the LEO satellites to become a new edge infrastructure, it is necessary to address the dynamism caused due to the mobility of the satellites (the LEO edge nodes). In this talk, I'll first contrast a LEO edge ecosystem with the current terrestrial edge/cloud ecosystem highlighting the specific gaps in abstractions and orchestration system design. I'll then present the design of a system that can hide the complexities of the dynamic nature of LEO satellites to enable 'LEO Edge as a Service'.

Talk Link

Dec 14, 2022
16:00 - 16:30 UTC

Maurizio Vanotti, VP of Global New Markets, OneWeb

Maurizio Vanotti

Bio: Maurizio Vanotti, VP of Global New Markets, is responsible for bundling connectivity with the Big-Tech ecosystem. At OneWeb he also led the initiation of the Gen2 programme and shaped the company’s Responsible Space initiative. Prior to that, he was C-level executive of a PE-backed company leading strategy and operations in Europe and advisor to VCs investment strategies in technology sectors. He started his career at OHB-I, before becoming Head of Engineering Department and Head of the Telecommunication (SSTL) where he delivered more than 20 missions in orbit. Maurizio is a former Navy Officer.

Talk Title: Innovation in Constellation Programmes

Talk Link

Dec 14, 2022
15:30 - 16:00 UTC

Prof. Deepak Vasisht, UIUC

Deepak Vasisht

Bio: Deepak Vasisht is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. His research focuses on mobile computing and wireless networking, specializing in how next generation networking systems – satellite networks, 5G/6G, in-body networks, and others– can solve human-critical problems in different application areas including healthcare, smart homes, and agriculture. Deepak’s research on Internet-of-Things systems for agriculture, in Project FarmBeats (Microsoft Azure FarmBeats), has been deployed across farms in United States, India, and Africa. His work has been featured in the Economist, IEEE Spectrum, BBC, MIT News, World Economic Forum, Daily Mail, and CBC among others. Prof. Vasisht received his B. Tech. from IIT Delhi and Ph.D. from MIT. At IIT Delhi, he was awarded the President’s Gold Medal. In 2021, IIT Delhi named him a Graduate of the Last Decade. His Ph.D. dissertation received the ACM SIGCOMM Doctoral Dissertation award in 2019. He is a recipient of the Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellowship, and an ACM SIGCOMM best paper award.

Talk Title: Near-realtime Insights from Earth Observation Satellites

Abstract: Large constellations of low Earth orbit satellites promise to provide frequent high resolution Earth imagery. Such constellations collect terabytes of data that needs to be shipped to Earth. Getting this data to Earth is challenging and can often take several hours to days before an insight is delivered to the end user. In this talk, I will discuss the networking and compute bottlenecks that cause such large delays. I will also present new distributed networking and compute architectures that can remove such bottlenecks to deliver near-realtime insights from imagery collected using Earth observation satellites.

Talk Link