XM Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio (joint award)
In the for-profit sector, SSPI salutes Sirius and XM Radio for their introduction of the new direct broadcast satellite Digital Audio Radio Service(DARS) into the United States market. These two systems use a variety of new and innovative satellite technologies and transmission systems that allows for the highest level of CD audio quality to be transmitted at low cost to mass consumers. Although the technical approach that is employed by these two systems is different, the level of technical and service innovation for both is remarkably high. Thus both Sirius and XM radio are recognized by SSPI for introduction of this service into the U.S. market and for leading the communications satellite industry into an important new services market.
National Science Foundation and Comsat General (joint award)
In the nonprofit sector, the US National Science Foundation and Comsat General are recognized for defining and implementing a program that brought enhanced communications capabilities to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, operated by the US Antarctic Research Program. Due to the earth’s curvature, the Station is unable to access geostationary satellites in order to provide scientists with experimental data transfer, remote equipment operation, Internet access or telephony. Working together, the award winners re-purposed the Marisat F2 satellite, launched in 1976 as an early member of the world’s first global maritime system. Now in a 13 degree inclined orbit, the 25-year-old satellite delivers six hours per day of connectivity to the South Pole using a dual-frequency band 9-meter antenna. Employees of the National Science Foundation identified the potential service contribution of the Marisat satellite. The service was implemented by Comsat under contract with the NSF.
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