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Issue 2: On-Orbit Performance

Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS): Design and On-Orbit Performance Measurements

F. Gargione
Lockheed Martin Astro Space

R. Acosta, T. Coney, and R. Krawczyk
NASA Lewis Research Center


The Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS), developed and built by Lockheed Martin Astro Space for the NASA Lewis Research Center, was launched in September 1993 on the Shuttle STS 51 mission. ACTS is a digital experimental communications test bed that incorporates gigahertz bandwidth transponders operating at Ka band, hopping spot beams, on-board storage and switching, and dynamic rain fade compensation. This paper describes the ACTS enabling technologies, the design of the communications payload, the constraints imposed on the spacecraft bus, and the measurements conducted to verify the performance of the system in orbit. Full Paper (PDF, 2.2 MB).


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