Here are some handy tools on the web. They do a variety of things related to HiSeasNet operations. Feel free to comment on or suggest more of these!
Satellite Geometry Tools
SatBeams is an excellent Google maps tool for locating satellites, displaying their footprints, and checking azimuth, elevation, and power level readings. They have a new version coming out that is available at http://test.satbeams.com until it becomes their main page. It still has a few quirks at the moment.
This tool figures out a azimuth and elevation for a given geostationary satellite and a given position.
Robbie Laird wrote this simple script that pulls the ships position from a udp broadcast and prints out the AZ/EL of a satellite.
Solar outages and some other satellite-related calculations can be fairly easily calculated using the tools locate at http://www.satellite-calculations.com. Solar outages in particular are at http://www.satellite-calculations.com/Satellite/suninterference.php.
Modulation Coding calculator
There is also a calculator that helps with some basic bandwidth efficiency features.
City Lat/Lon tool
This tool is a lookup table for the latitude and longitude of major cities in the US. Comes in handy sometimes.
The math may seem to get a little funny when calculating IP subnet masks, network addresses, and broadcast addresses. It is all straight forward based on powers of two, but is a pain to derive all the time. These tools provide a little assistance getting the numbers right and converting between all of the formats used to indicate the addresses and masks.
- http://www.subnet-calculator.com/subnet.php - Easy to use, but doesnt cover everything
- http://www.subnetmask.info - Trickier to use (correctly), but handles just about anything
MTU issues in general and specific to GRE tunneling
L-band conversion table
This is a quick lookup table of some L-band conversions to C-band and Ku-band frequencies. Not particularly accurate, but a good sanity checker to make sure things are in the right ballpark. Better to do the conversion by hand correctly based on the local oscillator of your gear.
For detailed bandwidth tests that allow adjusting different window sizes and such, try iperf. It helps to use a window size of 16K for our satellite links
Cisco routers have an undocumented (or at least minimally documented) bandwidth test tool in their routers called ttcp. It appears to be some flavor of iperf responder built into their IOS. Routers can be setup as senders or receivers. As a result, it allows for links to be tested just between routers or between routers and hosts running the ttcp software. More info from Cisco is at http://www.cisco.com/en/US/tech/tk801/tk36/technologies_tech_note09186a0080094694.shtml. Again, use 16K windows for best results...and be careful of the number of packets you send as the default is a very large number!
For quick web-based speed tests, try http://www.dslreports.com/speedtest or http://www.speedtest.net. These tests may not be the most accurate for our long-latency, low-bandwidth, high-jitter, often high-saturation links as the tests are designed for broadband computers. You may find a properly set window size on the running computer may improve the performance. See Wikipedia for more discussion and links regarding Long, Fat Network links. There is also a discussion of TCP tuning. The links at the bottom have pointers to TCP stack test/tweak tools that may prove worthwhile.
The concept of all of the tools above is to flood the network and see how much data got through. This will actually reduce the usable bandwidth to nothing while the test is running. As a result, it will report back the available bandwidth when the test was run. If you sustain x kbps, and your speed test returns y kbps, your actual bandwidth of the link is x+y kbps.
Per-User Bandwidth Monitoring and Traffic Control
This was a tool that was mentioned during RVTEC '09. It lets individual users see what their usage is. This can help them understand how much bandwidth they consume. "Oh! YouTube really does use a lot of bandwidth! Maybe I shouldn't use it so much..."
USAP uses Antamedia Hotspot Software to manage a quote-based hotspot in their ship's internet cafe. They also use some content filtering based on the http://someonewhocares.org/hosts redirection scheme. This helps block software updates, too.
Misc Cisco Tools
There are a variety of Cisco tools listed at a Cisco-centric open source site.
Earth station EbNo values
Earth station EbNos for each ship can be fetched at http://traffic.hiseasnet.ucsd.edu/ebno.php and should be a pretty small/quick load (suitable for cell phone browsers). The page is updated on the fly directly from the modems. Note that an EbNo of "0" means an modem is unlocked, while a measurement of "19.5" indicates an EbNo of 19.5 dB or higher (probably too much).
Network Monitoring Tools
There are a variety of tools for monitoring different aspects of networks these days. Some are based on SNMP and require devices to look at SNMP data. Others use netflow to track summaries of flows heading to or from routing or switching devices. Others are just tools for keeping track of pings. Here is a very incomplete list of some tools that have been used on shore or ships in the past. There are likely other tools that fit a particular need closely.
HDD Accurate Network Monitor: http://www.hhdsoftware.com/Products/home/accurate-network-monitor.html
Cricket graphs: http://cricket.sourceforge.net/
PingList: A windows-based tool for pinging down a chain of IP addresses. It shows where the ping stops. It may be useful to set this up with some addresses on and off the ship to see where things break when there is connectivity trouble.
Ship tracking tools
There are a number of websites that suck up ship positions and display them: