Dwayne C. Brown Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

March 14, 1994 (Phone: 202/358-0547) RELEASE: 94-43 NASA INITIATING INDUSTRY TESTING PROGRAM VIA SATELLITE NETWORK NASA's Office of Space Communications, Headquarters, Washington, D.C., is initiating an opportunity for private industry to conduct experiments and demonstrations of future telecommunications technologies via the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS). Called the Mobile Satcom TDRSS (MOST) Experiment Program, it will enhance U.S. competitiveness in the rapidly expanding global satellite telecommunications arena. "In accord with NASA's statutory responsibilities, this program will contribute significantly to U.S. knowledge in emerging satellite technologies and communications concepts. This use of TDRSS is made possible by the versatile and unique capabilities of our Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System," said Charles Force, Associate Administrator for Space Communications, Washington, D.C. The MOST program will help to increase efficiency and lower costs in the deployment of future low-Earth orbiting satellites, applications of rural and remote business communications, ground transportation tracking and messaging, commercial air carrier fleet management including messaging for location, inflight mechanical failures, weather conditions and enroute delays, and communications that include cellular telephone service, facsimile and personal paging services. "These technologies, once tested and eventually developed, will

allow industry to develop new telecommunications users and enhance the 'information superhighway' of our future. We anticipate experiments will begin sometime this fall," said Arthur Jackson, MOST Project Manager, Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, Md. - more -2"Use of the TDRSS space and ground segments will be made available free of charge to interested parties. It will be offered to U.S. entities for experiments and demonstrations only. Experimenters cannot use the system for routine business operations. The commercial applications these experiments enable, must be implemented in nearby non-government frequency bands. In addition, experimenters will be responsible for providing all equipment and personnel required to perform the experiments," said Katherine Chambers, Aerospace Telecommunications Engineer, Space Network Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. Interested parties will be requested to provide a proposal detailing user requirements, extent of experimentation and time required for scheduling and development of equipment and other resources required for experiments or demonstrations. An agreement will be arranged so as not to interfere with TDRSS's primary mission operations activities. U.S. corporations interested in participating in the program may contact Katherine Chambers at NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C., 202/358-4830. A workshop will be held in April 14-15, to provide detailed information. Universities and government agencies are welcome. TDRSS is a space-based network that provides communications, tracking, telemetry, data acquisition and command services essential to Shuttle and low-Earth orbital spacecraft missions. All Space Shuttle missions and nearly all NASA spacecraft in Earth orbit require the TDRSS's capabilities for mission success. The TDRSS consists of two major elements -- A constellation of geosynchronous satellites and a ground terminal located at White Sands, N.M. NASA's GSFC manages the daily

operation of the system. The Office of Space Communications, Washington, D.C., has overall management responsibility. -end-