Specula: Large File Transfers over Congested Networks


Sentar’s R&D team created a new approach, called Specula, that provides superior performance and availability for large file transfers, even when using an unreliable, intermittent, congested network connections. Specula uses existing standards in a unique way, along with a new automatic full-file partition synchronization technology, to enable highly available, faster file transfers in a degraded or contested network environment. Specula was designed to guarantee Warfighters in the field receive the data sets they require quickly, even during significant deterioration of communications in their theater of operations.


Specula works by automatically partitioning files for bulk transfer using multiple pathways of varying speeds. Every partition, in parallel, is transferred down multiple pathways using different networking routes and then reassembled at the far end. The transfer uses discoverable multiple paths and adaptive congestion control to minimize transition time for each network packet. Specula uses multiple network adapters (WiFi, Hardwire, etc.) to form a multi-path connection. The congestion control algorithms use network attributes to adapt to congested / intermittent or contested environments.