Online Journal of Space Communication


In September 1993, NASA launched its long-awaited Advanced Communication Technology (ACTS) satellite. ACTS is a $500 million experimental all-digital spacecraft hosting a number of first-time technologies: on-board processing and switching, high-powered electronically hopping spot beams, adaptive rain-fade compensation and opening of the Ka frequency band.

Among the earliest of the tests on the new satellite was a NASA sponsored project conducted by Ohio University and its commercial partner, the Huntington National Bank. HNB is a $17 billion regional bank with 338 offices in fourteen states. Transactions on HNB's data networks currently travel on terrestrial T-1 lines. The Ohio University/HNB tests were initiated to determine the capability of the satellite for service restoral in the case of a failure in one of the Bank's terrestrial links.

The ACTS Disaster Recovery Project was designed to test the Bank's ability to by-pass such problems on the ground by switching to a space path. The goal was to make the switch-over with the briefest interuption of service, with minimal loss of transmitted data, within acceptable cost and with sustained security.



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