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JULY 14, 1966. Mr. LEONARD JAFFE, Director of Communications and Navigation Programs, Code ST-3, Office of Space Science and Applications, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 600 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. JAFFE: As you know, the Federal Aviation Agency is studying the feasibility of providing communication and independent position determination services between aircraft and ground facilities through use of a synchronous satellite. Of particular initial interest is the North Atlantic air route system between the United States and Europe.

In addition to the ongoing VHF program for the satellite/aircraft link. we are considering the development and evaluation of an aircraft terminal operating in the 1540-1660 Mhz freqeuncy band. We are interested in NASA participation in this activity by providing the appropriate capability on a future experimental satellite for the aircraft/satellite link, and possibly providing the satellite/ground link for extension to an FAA test facility. We anticipate that the aircraft equipment could be ready during calendar year 1968. Additionally, we would like to review overall space segment performance parameters with knowledgeable NASA personnel.

Please advise us of the extent to which you may be able to participate in this effort and the time schedule which you believe could be met.

If you feel that members of your staff would like to discuss this query in more detail prior to formulating a reply, our project manager would be pleased to arrange and participate in such a discussion. To that effect, Mr. James L. Lipscomb of the Communications Development Division has been assigned as Project Manager. He may be contacted on telephone number 962-7187.

Sincerely yours,

JOSEPH D. BLATT, Associate Administrator for Development.

JULY 28, 1966. Mr. LEONARD JAFFE, Director, Space Applications Programs, Office of Space Science and Applications, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. JAFFE: At the NASA/FAA Coordinating Committee meeting held on June 1, 1966, Mr. Eugene Ehrlich of your office made reference to the Omega Position Location Experiment (OPLE) to be conducted with the ATS-C satellite scheduled to be launched in an equatorial synchronous orbit at longitude 30° W in December 1967.

In view of the fact that the OPLE technique differs significantly from that involved in the R&D work being carried out by the FAA, we are interested in receiving more details of the experiment as far as they might relate to navigation or independent surveillance of aircraft. If more information on the nature of our interest is desired before you reply, please contact Mr. Alton B. Moody, Chief Long Distance Navigation Branch, Systems Research and Development Service. He can be reached on extension 26401.

Sincerely yours,

JOSEPH D. BLATT, Associate Administrator for Development.

AUGUST 4, 1966.


Associate Administrator for Development,
Federal Aviation Agency,

Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. BLATT: The interest of the FAA in the NASA planned Omega Position Location Experiment (OPLS) on the ATS-C, as noted in your letter dated July 28, 1966, is gratifying. This experiment will utilize the VLF signals from the Omega stations for relay by a platform, such as an aircraft, via the satellite to a ground station for position computation. Enclosed is a report prepared by the OPLE Principal Investigator describing the experiment.

For further technical details concerning this experiment, direct contact between members of your staff and Mr. Charles Laughlin, OPLE Investigator, at the Goddard Space Flight Center is encouraged. Mr. Laughlin can be reached on Government Code 134, extension 6562. He has been notified to expect contact by the members of your staff.

Sincerely yours,


Director of Space Applications, Office of Space Science and Applications. (Enclosure omitted.)

Reference your letter dated July 14, 1966, RD-200.


AUGUST 8, 1966.

Associate Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration,
Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. BLATT: your referenced letter expressing an interest in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration providing the capability for an evaluation of appropriate aircraft/satellite and satellite/ground links in the 1540-1660 Mhz frequency band on a future experimental satellite, has been received and is presently under review.

Mr. Eugene Ehrlich, Navigation and Traffic Control Program Chief, in my office will be contact with your Mr. Lipscomb to discuss the FAA program needs for work in the areas mentioned.

NASA looks forward to developing the satellite system technology to meet the future air traffic service needs of the FAA. We would consider a meeting between both agencies to discuss the FAA-NASA relationships in the satellite area after Messrs. Ehrlich and Lipscomb have reviewed the needs of the FAA for the services requested.

Sincerely yours,


Director of Space Applications, Office of Space Science and Applications. Mr. HOLIFIELD. Thank you, gentlemen, for your testimony. The meeting will stand adjourned. We will have Comsat before us tomorrow morning at 10.

(Whereupon, at 12 noon, the subcommittee adjourned until 10 a.m., on Wednesday, September 7, 1966.)






Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to recess, at 10 a.m. in room 2247, Rayburn Office Building, Hon. Chet Holifield (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.

Present: Representatives Chet Holifield, William S. Moorhead, Frank Horton, and William L. Dickinson.

Also present: Herbert Roback, staff administrator; Douglas G. Dahlin, counsel; Paul Ridgely, investigator; Joseph Luman, defense analyst; and J. P. Carlson, minority staff.

Mr. HOLIFIELD. The committee will be in order.

We continue our hearings on the Comsat operation. We have before us this morning Dr. Joseph V. Charyk, and the Honorable James McCormack.

Which one of you gentlemen wishes to proceed?

Mr. McCORMACK. I will lead off, if I may, sir.

Mr. HOLIFIELD. All right, you may proceed.


Mr. McCORMACK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The Communications Satellite Corp., which is commonly called Comsat, is pleased to appear here today before your committee.

I am James McCormack, chairman of the corporation. With me is Dr. Joseph V. Charyk, our president and, I might add, several of our staff are in the row behind us.

If the committee approves, we would like to present Comsat's prepared statement in two parts. First, I would like to comment broadly and briefly on Comsat affairs and attitudes in areas where we believe this committee is interested. Dr. Charyk proposes then to go more in detail into some of the concrete questions which we know to be under consideration in your current hearings.

Because Mr. O'Connell gave the committee last week such a comprehensive picture of satellite developments and plans, we have not covered that ground in our formal presentation. We will, of course, be happy to pick up the subject in any way you wish.

My remarks will fall under three general headings:

1. A review of the sort of company Comsat is;

2. U.S. Government use of commercial satellite communications services;

3. Comsat's position in the matter of the Government as an “authorized user" of Comsat services.

As you, of course, know, Comsat is a very special sort of corporation, unique in the communications industry or, probably, in any other. As permitted by the Communications Satellite Act of 1962, Comsat is owned half by the communications carriers and half by the public As directed by the Congress, the initial stock issue, which raised $100 million from the general public, sought and obtained the widest possible participation. Our public shareholders of record today number nearly 150,000, with probably 25,000 additional whose shares are held in trust accounts. More than half of these shareholders own 10 shares or less. All but 4.3 percent of these holdings are in U.S. hands.

Under the law, Comsat represents the United States in the international endeavor to bring a global commercial satellite communications system into being at the earliest practicable date. Under a set of interim international agreements the members of the International TeleCommunications Satellite Consortium (Intelsat) share in the ownership of the space segment of the global system. The 53-nation members of Intelsat today comprise all but a very small part of the free world's commercial telecommunications establishment. Under the agreements, Comsat holds slightly more than half of the ownership of Intelsat, and acts as its manager. By election, a Comsat officer is serving as chairman of the Intelsat governing committee called ICSC. The agreements require that on all policy matters Comsat's vote be supported by non-U.S. ownership representing 1212-percent participation.

The earth stations of the system are independently owned by the various participating national entities. Under an interim policy, the Federal Communications Commission has permitted Comsat to construct or acquire three initial U.S. earth stations. Comsat believes that three more U.S. stations are needed for use in the global system, and expects the worldwide total to approach 40 by the end of 1969, the time when the interim international agreements are expected to be replaced by permanent arrangements.

As has been noted during these hearings, Mr. Chairman, the leasing of circuits in our one presently operating satellite, the experimental Early Bird, has lagged well behind the original estimates of the carriers. We believe that this performance will soon begin to cure itself as more flexible facilities are available, providing 24-hour service, and as existing cables are more fully loaded.

Although presumably not a matter of special interest in these hearings, I might mention that Comsat is engaged in a major effort to produce, for consideration by the FCC, a plan to provide satellite services to meet all domestic requirements. In the preparation of this plan, we are working jointly with the domestic communications carriers and the broadcasting networks. Further stimulated by the now wellknown proposal of the Ford Foundation, we expect public and congressional interest in this matter to continue, probably coming to a focus some time next year.

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