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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-06-05
    Description: The Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) is operated by the NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. ACTS, which was launched in September 1993, is in its 7th year of operations, far exceeding the system s planned 2 years of operations and 4 years of designed mission life. After 5 successful years of operating as a geostationary satellite, the spacecraft s North-South stationkeeping was discontinued in August 1998. The system is now operating in an inclined orbit that increases at a rate of 0.8 /yr. With only scarce fuel remaining, operating in this mode extends the usage of the still totally functional payload. Although tracking systems are now needed on the experimenter Earth stations, experiment operations have continued with very little disruption. This is the only known geosynchronous Ka-band (30/20 GHz) spot-beam satellite operating in an inclined orbit. The project began its transition from geostationary operations to inclined operations in August 1998. This did not interrupt operations and was transparent to the experimenters on the system. For the space segment, new daily procedures were implemented to maintain the pointing of the system s narrow 0.3 spot beams while the spacecraft drifts in the North-South direction. For the ground segment, modifications were designed, developed, and fielded for the three classes of experimenter Earth stations. With the next generation of commercial satellite systems still being developed, ACTS remains the only operational testbed for Ka-band geosynchronous satellite communications over the Western hemisphere. Since inclined orbit operations began, the ACTS experiments program has supported 43 investigations by industry, Government, and academic organizations, as well as four demonstrations. The project s goals for inclined-orbit operations now reflect a narrower focus in the types of experiments that will be done. In these days of "faster, better, cheaper," NASA is seeking to gain greater relevance to the agency s mission from these experiments. One area that is of much interest both to NASA and the commercial world is the investigation of protocol issues related to the interoperability of satellites with terrestrial networks, such as Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) over wideband satellites. Other experiment areas of interest are supporting the U.S. Government and NASA as they begin using commercial space assets to meet their communications needs, evaluating issues related to operating a spot-beam satellite in inclined orbit, and evaluating new Ka-band hardware that requires a satellite link. ACTS is now in its last year of operations. Operations are planned through June 2000, when after 81 months of operations, this very successful spacecraft will be superorbited and made inert.
    Keywords: Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command and Tracking
    Type: Research and Technology 1999; NASA/TM-2000-209639
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-06-05
    Description: The Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) system has been modified to support operation in an inclined orbit that is virtually transparent to users, and plans are to continue this final phase of its operation through September 2000. The next 2 years of ACTS will provide a new opportunity for using the technologies that this system brought online over 5 years ago and that are still being used to resolve the technical issues that face NASA and the satellite industry in the area of seamless networking and interoperability with terrestrial systems. New goals for ACTS have been defined that align the program with recent changes in NASA and industry. ACTS will be used as a testbed to: Show how NASA and other Government agencies can use commercial systems for 1. future support of their operations Test, characterize, and resolve technical issues in using advanced communications 2. protocols such as asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) and transmission control protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP) over long latency links as found when interoperating satellites with terrestrial systems Evaluate narrow-spot-beam Ka-band satellite operation in an inclined orbit 3. Verify Ka-band satellite technologies since no other Ka-band system is yet 4. available in the United States
    Keywords: Communications and Radar
    Type: Research and Technology 1998; NASA/TM-1999-208815
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2016-06-07
    Description: Various issues associated with the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) are presented in viewgraph form. Specific topics include: 1) ACTS program review; 2) Spot beam locations; 3) Key ACTS technologies; 4) ACTS accomplishments; 5) Experiments operations; 6) Inclined orbit opportunity, mission and impact; 7) Modifications summary; 8) Experiment opportunity, categories, processes; and 9) Recent and ongoing activity.
    Keywords: Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command and Tracking
    Type: Satellite Networks: Architectures, Applications, and Technologies; 209-217; NASA/CP-1998-208524
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2016-06-07
    Description: The Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) system provided a national testbed that enabled advanced applications to be tested and demonstrated over a live satellite link. Of the applications that used ACTS. some offered unique advantages over current methods, while others simply could not be accommodated by conventional systems. The initial technical and experiments results of the program were reported at the 1995 ACTS Results Conference. in Cleveland, Ohio. Since then, the Experiments Program has involved 45 new experiments comprising 30 application experiments and 15 technology related experiments that took advantage of the advanced technologies and unique capabilities offered by ACTS. The experiments are categorized and quantified to show the organizational mix of the experiments program and relative usage of the satellite. Since paper length guidelines preclude each experiment from being individually reported, the application experiments and significant demonstrations are surveyed to show the breadth of the activities that have been supported. Experiments in a similar application category are collectively discussed, such as. telemedicine. or networking and protocol evaluation. Where available. experiment conclusions and impact are presented and references of results and experiment information are provided. The quantity and diversity of the experiments program demonstrated a variety of service areas for the next generation of commercially available, advanced satellite communications.
    Keywords: Communications and Radar
    Type: Proceeding of the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) Conference 2000; 97-101 and 241-249; NASA/CP-2000-210530
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018-06-05
    Description: The Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) program was slated for decommissioning in October 2000. With plans in place to move the spacecraft to an orbital graveyard and then shut the system down, NASA was challenged to consider the feasibility of extending operations for education and research purposes provided that an academic organization would be willing to cover operations costs. This was determined to be viable, and in the fall of 2000, NASA announced that it would consider extending operations. On March 19, 2001, NASA, the Ohio Board of Regents, and the Ohio University signed a Space Act Agreement to continue ACTS operations for 2 more years with options to extend operations up to a total of 4 years. To accomplish this, the Ohio University has formed a university-based consortium, the Ohio Consortium for Advanced Communications Technology (OCACT), and acts as the managing member. The Ohio University is responsible for the full reimbursement of NASA's operations costs, and does this through consortium membership. NASA retains the operating license of the spacecraft and has two contractors supporting spacecraft and master control station operations. This flexible arrangement between NASA and academia allows the education community to access a large communications satellite for learning about spacecraft operations and to use the system's transponders for communications applications. It also allows other organizations, such as commercial companies, to become consortium members and use the ACTS wideband Ka-band (30/20 GHz) payload. From the consortium members, six areas of interest have been identified.
    Keywords: Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command and Tracking
    Type: Research and Technology 2001; NASA/TM-2002-211333
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  • 6
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    In:  CASI
    Publication Date: 2004-12-03
    Description: Spacecraft operations continue to be nominal and the sixth eclipse season completed. Battery reconditioning to be re-evaluated before the fall eclipse. Other topics covered include: Inclined orbit; Experiments program; Reorganizations; Program timeline; and propagation program status.
    Keywords: Communications and Radar
    Type: Proceedings of the Twentieth NASA Propagation Experimenters Meeting (NAPEX XX) and the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) Propagation Studies Miniworkshop; 433-441; NASA/CR-96-112600
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2011-08-23
    Description: The Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) was conceived at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the late 1970's as a follow-on program to ATS and CTS to continue NASA's long history of satellite communications projects. The ACTS project set the stage for the C-band satellites that started the industry, and later the ACTS project established the use of Ku-band for video distribution and direct-to-home broadcasting. ACTS, launched in September 1993 from the space shuttle, created a revolution in satellite system architecture by using digital communications techniques employing key technologies such as a fast hopping multibeam antenna, an on-board baseband processor, a wide-band microwave switch matrix, adaptive rain fade compensation, and the use of 900 MHz transponders operating at Ka-band frequencies. This paper describes the lessons learned in each of the key ACTS technology areas, as well as in the propagation investigations.
    Keywords: Communications and Radar
    Type: IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications (ISSN 0733-8716); Volume 17; No. 2; 193-203
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2013-08-31
    Description: The Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) Program status is reported. Project status, experiments program status, and Earth station status are described.
    Keywords: COMMUNICATIONS AND RADAR
    Type: JPL, Proceedings of the Seventeenth NASA Propagation Experimenters Meeting (NAPEX 17) and the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) Propagation Studies Miniworkshop p 227-242 (SEE N94-14; JPL, Proceedings of
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2013-08-31
    Description: Thermomechanical Analysis (TMA), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) were performed on samples of Halar exposed on the LDEF Mission for 6 years in orbit and unexposed Halar control samples. Sections 10-100 microns thick were removed from the exposed surface down to a depth of 1,000 microns through the 3 mm thick samples. The TMA and DSC results, which arise from the entire slice and not just its surface, showed no differences between the LDEF and the control samples. TMA scans were run from ambient to 300 C; results were compared by a tabulation of the glass transition temperatures. DSC scans were run from ambient to 700 C; the enthalpy of melting was compared for the samples as a function of section depth with the sample. The TGA results, which arise from the surface of the sample initially, showed a sharp increase in the topmost 50 micron section (the exposed, discolored side) in the weight loss of 170 C in oxygen. This weight loss dropped to bulk values in the range of depth of 50-200 microns. The control sample showed only a slight increase in weight loss as the top surface was approached. The LDEF Halar sample appears to be mechanically undamaged, with a surface layer which oxidizes faster as a result of orbital exposure.
    Keywords: NONMETALLIC MATERIALS
    Type: NASA. Langley Research Center, LDEF Materials Workshop 1991, Part 1; p 391-415
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2013-08-31
    Description: Thermomechanical analysis (TMA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) were performed on samples of RTV 511 exposed on the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) mission for 6 years in orbit and unexposed RTV 511 control samples. Slices 20- to 400-microns thick were removed from the exposed surface down to a depth of 1,500 microns through the 3-mm thick samples. The TMA and DSC results, which arise from the entire slice and not just its surface, showed no significant differences between the LDEF exposed and the control samples. TMA scans were run from ambient to 500 C; results were compared by a tabulation of the onset temperatures for flow. DSC scans were run from ambient to 600 C; no endotherms or exotherms occurred over the range observed. What appear to be glass transition temperatures were compared for the samples as a function of section depth within the sample and between the exposed and control samples. The TGA scans from 25 to 900 C, which arise from the surface of the sample initially, showed a slight increase in the top most 105-micron slice (the exposed, discolored side) in the weight loss at 600 C in oxygen. This weight loss dropped to bulk values at the next slice below the top section, a mean depth of 258 microns. The control sample also showed an increase in weight loss as the top surface was approached, but the 600 C weight losses were very inconsistent. The LDEF RTV sample appears to be mechanically undamaged, with a surface layer which oxidizes slightly faster as a result of orbital exposure.
    Keywords: INORGANIC AND PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY
    Type: NASA. Marshall Space Flight Center, LDEF Materials Results for Spacecraft Applications; p 455-463
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