Technology Development & Applications (2002)

Space Systems/Loral

In the for-profit sector, SSPI salutes Space Systems/Loral for the restoration of one of the redundant command receivers aboard an SS/L LS-1300 spacecraft in orbit. Although this was the only incident that SS/Lhad ever experienced with the command receiver, the customer requested that SS/L find a solution to increase robustness and restore redundancy. SS/L was able to design and implement a series of unique and sophisticated spacecraft firmware patches and ground system hardware modifications that created a redundant command uplink path. Thus, the reprogramming efforts restored full operational redundancy to the spacecraft, leading to confidence on the part of the spacecraft operator, insurance companies and SS/L that it will serve its intended lifetime. 

 

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

In the nonprofit sector, NASA is recognized for proving the viability of a number of first-time satellite communications technologies using the Advanced Communication Technology Satellite (ACTS), launched in September 1993 as an experimental platform. The positive repercussions of the project are only now being realized, as numerous new GEO & LEO broadband applications have been introduced in the commercial sector based on ACTS results. ACTS was also instrumentally in bringing about the widespread use of spot beams in the generation of satellites designed and launched in the 1990s. 

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