Online Journal of Space Communication


The Advanced Communication Technology Satellite (ACTS) is an experimental communications satellite system launched in September 1993. ACTS introduces many new technologies, including operation in the Ka frequency band. ACTS uses multiple hopping narrow beams and very small aperture terminal (VSAT) technology to establish a system availability of 99.5% for a bit-error-rates of 5x10-7 or better over the continental United States. In order to maintain a minimum system availability f 99.5% over all US rain zones ACTS uses an adaptive rain fade compensation protocol to reduce the impact of signal attenuation resulting from propagation effects. The purpose of this paper is to present the results of system and sub-system characterization considering the statistical effects of system variances due to thermal and propagation effects over 6 years of ACTS operation including inclined orbit.



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