The European Space Agency’s Orbital Test Satellite (OTS) was one of the very first geostationary, 3-axis-stabilised Ku-Band communications satellites. It was developed as a test bed for a host of new European technologies and transmission techniques aimed at bringing regional TV and trunk telephony services to Europe. It was the forerunner of the highly successful ECS satellites which were subsequently operated and managed by EUTELSAT.
I spent four years working on different aspects of the OTS satellite, the communications transmission design and on the ground segment earth stations. For any interested readers with a technical bent you can check out details on the EXPERIENCE and PUBLICATIONS pages of this site.
In March 1977 I took on the role of designing, planning and implementing the in-orbit testing (IOT) of OTS. This was to be carried out from Telespazio’s Fucino earth station complex in the mountains east of Rome, Italy, and you can check out the Fucino earth station complex with the interactive Google Map on my related blog post [Read more...]