The ACTS Flight System - Cost-Effective Advanced Communications TechnologyThe multibeam communications package (MCP) for the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) to be STS-launched by NASA in 1988 for experimental demonstration of satellite-switched TDMA (at 220 Mbit/sec) and baseband-processor signal routing (at 110 or 27.5 Mbit/sec) is characterized. The developmental history of the ACTS, the program definition, and the spacecraft-bus and MCP parameters are reviewed and illustrated with drawings, block diagrams, and maps of the coverage plan. Advanced features of the MPC include 4.5-dB-noise-figure 30-GHz FET amplifiers and 20-GHz TWTA transmitters which provide either 40-W or 8-W RF output, depending on rain conditions. The technologies being tested in ACTS can give frequency-reuse factors as high as 20, thus greatly expanding the orbit/spectrum resources available for U.S. communications use.
Holmes, W. M., Jr. (TRW, Inc. Redondo Beach, CA, United States)
Beck, G. A. (RCA Astro-Electronics Div. Princeton, NJ, United States)