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ATS 1, 3

ATS 3 [Boeing BSS]

ATS 1 (Applications Technology Satellite) was designed and launched for the purpose of (1) testing new concepts in spacecraft design, propulsion, and stabilization, (2) collecting high-quality cloudcover pictures and relaying processed meteorological data via an earth-synchronous satellite, (3) providing in situ measurements of the aerospace environment, and (4) testing improved communication systems. The spin-stabilized spacecraft was cylindrically shaped and measured 135 cm long and 142 cm in diameter. The primary structural members were a honeycombed equipment shelf and thrust tube. Support rods extended radially outward from the thrust tube. Solar panels were affixed to the support rods and formed the outer walls of the spacecraft. Equipment components and payload were mounted in the annular space between the thrust tube and solar panels. In addition to solar panels, the spacecraft was equipped with two rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries to provide electrical power. Eight 150 cm-long VHF experiment whip antennas were mounted around the aft end of the spacecraft, while eight telemetry and command antennas were placed on the forward end. Spacecraft guidance and orbital corrections were accomplished by 2.3 kg hydrogen peroxide and hydrazine thrusters, which were activated by ground command. The satellite was initially placed at 151.16 deg W longitude over the Pacific Ocean in a geosynchronous orbit. In general, most of the experiments were successful. Data coverage was nominal until about 1970, after which limited real-time data acquisition was carried out by NOAA until the May 1974 launch of SMS 1. Limited ATS 1 data acquisition was begun by NASA at about that time for ATS 1 - ATS 6 correlative studies. The spacecraft has served as a communications satellite for a number of state, federal, and public organizations up to the present. It is planned to continue operations at its final longitude of 164 deg E until September 1983 and then move the spacecraft out of the geostationary orbit.

ATS 3 (Applications Technology Satellite) was one of a series of spacecraft designed to demonstrate the utility and feasibility of a variety of technological and scientific activities that could be carried out by an earth-synchronous spacecraft. Of the 11 experiments on board, 8 were technological engineering experiments concerned with navigation, communications, and spacecraft operation and equipment. Two of the remaining experiments were photographic imaging experiments that could produce near real-time daylight pictures of the earth-atmosphere system. The remaining experiment was an ionospheric beacon. The spin-stabilized spacecraft was cylindrically shaped and measured 180 cm in length and 142 cm in diameter. The primary structural members were a honeycombed equipment shelf and thrust tube. Support rods extended radially outward from the thrust tube and were affixed to solar panels which formed the outer walls of the spacecraft. Equipment components and payload were mounted in the annular space between the thrust tube and solar panels. In addition to solar panels, the spacecraft was equipped with two rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries to provide electrical power. Eight 150-cm VHF experiment whip antennae were mounted around the aft end of the spacecraft, while eight telemetry and command whip antennae were placed on the forward end. Spacecraft guidance and orbital corrections were accomplished by 2.3 kg hydrogen peroxide and hydrazine thrusters, which were activated by ground command. Initially placed at 48 deg W longitude over the Atlantic Ocean in a geosynchronous orbit, the satellite position later varied between 45 and 95 deg W longitude in support of meteorological operations. In general, the various experiments have been successful.

The proposed ATS C2 spacecraft was the back-up from ATS 1. The flight only reached the proposal stage and was never approved.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Communication / Meteorology
Operator: NASA
Contractors: Hughes
Equipment: ?
Configuration: HS-306
Propulsion: SR-28-3 (#1, #3)
Power: Solar cells (body mounted), batteries
Lifetime: 3 years (planned)
Mass: 352 kg (#1); 365 kg (#2)
Orbit: GEO
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
ATS 1 (ATS B) 1966-110A 07.12.1966 CC LC-12 Atlas-SLV3 Agena-D
ATS 3 (ATS C) 1967-111A 05.11.1967 CC LC-12 Atlas-SLV3 Agena-D
ATS C2 - not launched

References:

Further ATS missions: