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Ellis Lewis Research Center, Cleveland (Phone: 216/433-2900) RELEASE: 92-134 NASA SELECTS 31 ACTS PROGRAM EXPERIMENTS NASA has selected 31 experiments from the public and private sectors for inclusion in the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) Program. Scheduled for launch in early 1993, this national communications facility will operate as an orbiting testbed for the next generation of commercial communications satellites. Planned for a 2-year experiment period, the ACTS program offers a unique opportunity for commercial, governmental and academic organizations to experiment with and validate new communications satellite technologies. "The ACTS program is a successful relationship in which industry, academia and government have joined together to lead America's innovation in unprecedented communications technologies," said John G. Mannix, NASA Assistant Administrator for Commerical Programs. "Such initiative restores this country's preeminence in an increasingly competitive world market." Developed to support future high-risk communications needs which fall outside the sponsorship capability of the private sector, the ACTS is pioneering technology developments that will
provide better service, lower cost, greater convenience and improved reliability. The ACTS system incorporates advanced technologies such as a baseband processor which acts as an onboard computer providing memory and processing aboard the satellite. This device electronically sorts and routs traffic from points of origin to points of destination without the necessity of going through a ground station. - more -2Another feature is an onboard microwave switch matrix that can route high volume traffic at much higher data rates than current communications satellites, thus allowing communications between supercomputers or the distribution of high-definition television signals. The satellite's electronically hopping spot beams will focus narrow, high-powered beams on isolated locations. These spot beams are useful for linking geographically dispersed areas and make it possible to reduce the size and substantially lower the cost of the ground station. The satellite also will use radio components at Ka-band, a new and uncrowded frequency band for commercial use in the United States. Experiments in the ACTS program will test a variety of applications. American Express plans to transmit and receive data at high speeds through the ACTS small ground stations testing the technology for possible use in a future operational system. In other experiments, the Mayo Foundation will use ACTS to demonstrate medical support to remote communities and to transfer high-definition imagery. The National Science Foundation's Palmer Station in Antarctica will transmit data and images used for scientific research. Georgetown University is creating a high-speed, interactive education network in South America. The ACTS experiments program is sponsored by NASA's Office of Commercial Programs, Washington, D.C., with project management provided by NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland.
Selected from 50 proposals submitted in response to an August 1991 Experiment Opportunity Announcement, the experiments are: o "Video and High Definition Television Transmission (HDTV)," C. V. Girod, The Public Broadcasting Service, Alexandria, Va. o "Georgetown Hemispheric Intercultural Network for Knowledge (G-Think)," Rev. Harold C. Bradley, S.J., Georgetown University, Office of Federal Relations, Washington, D.C. o "Hopping Beam Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) Operation Observations," Robert Ridings, COMSAT Laboratories, Network Technology Division, Clarksburg, Md. o "Application of the NASA ACTS Satellite System to the Practice of Medicine in an Integrated Group Practice," Dr. R. R. Hattery, M.D., Mayo Foundation, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Rochester, Minn. - more -3o "Prototype Intelsat Operations," A. M. Goldman, Jr., COMSAT World Systems, Washington, D.C. o "High Bit Rate Modem Evaluation," Kerry D. Lee, Motorola, Inc., Strategic Electronics Division, Chandler, Ariz. o "Low Bit Rate Transmit Window Characterization," Kerry D. Lee, Motorola, Inc., Strategic Electronics Division, Chandler, Ariz. o "Coding Gain Evaluation," Kerry D. Lee, Motorola, Inc., Strategic Electronics Division, Chandler, Ariz. o "ACTS Mobile Terminal (AMT)," Tom Jedrey, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. o "Disaster Recovery, Backup and Communications Augmentation Experiment Using ACTS," Don Flournoy, Institute for Telecommunications Studies, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio o "Public Switched Network Restoration," Frank Dixon, National Communications System, Arlington, Va.
o "Public Switched Network Trucking," Frank Dixon, National Communications System, Arlington, Va. o "Isolated User Access," Frank Dixon, National Communications System, Arlington, Va. o "Secure Mobile Communications," Frank Dixon, National Communications System, Arlington, Va. o "Quantify ACTS End-to-End Communication System Performance," Robert D. Cass, National Telecommunications and Information Administration/Institute for Telecommunication Studies, U.S. Department of Commerce, Boulder, Colo. o "Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) Via ACTS," Lt. Col. Mick Hanratty, AIRMICS, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Ga. o "Army ACTS Experiments," Maj. Mary Kaura, USARSPACE, Colorado Springs, Colo. o "Applications of Small Earth Stations in Conducting Telescience and Telemedicine," Gerald R. Taylor, Ph.D., Johnson Space Center, Pace Biomedical Research Institute, Houston - more -4o "Real-Time, High-Bandwidth Data Links," Dr. Stephen Horan, New Mexico State University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Las Cruces, N.M. o "Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) Experiments," Moorthy Hariharan, COMSAT Laboratories, Network Technology Division, Clarksburg, Md. o "Direct-To-Premise ACTS Based Video Services," Dr. Vason P. Srini, Dataflow Systems, Division of Innovative Configuration Inc., Berkeley, Calif. o "ACTS Experiments Proposal," Frederick Weber, Orion Satellite Corp., Rockville, Md. o "Supercomputer Networking Applications," Dr. Burton I.
Edelson, The George Washington University, Institute for Applied Space Research, Washington, D.C. o "Protocol Evaluation for Advanced Space Data Interchange," Quoc T. Nguyen, The MITRE Corp., McLean, Va. o "Traffic Modeling, Channel Characterization, Coding and Modulation on ACTS," Y. Bar-Ness, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, N.J. o "Low-Cost Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Network," Dr. Kermit Reister, Center for AeroSpace Technology, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah o "Availability Comparison Between Ku and Ka Satellite Technologies," Allen R. Neely, American Express, Phoenix, Ariz. o "Satellite Communications for Transmission of Corrections to GPS Users," Sally L. Frodge, U.S. Army Topographic Engineering Center, Fort Belvoir, Va. - "Advanced Applications to Validate ACTS Technologies," Dr. David Y. Y. Yun, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Information Technology Division, Honolulu, Hawaii. o "Testing of ACTS Onboard Technologies for Selected Hybrid Networking Applications," Dr. John S. Baras, University of Maryland Center for the Commercial Development of Space. o "Scientific Research on the Antarctic Peninsula," Raymond C. Smith, National Science Foundation Division of Polar Programs. -end-
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