4. RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF PEACESAT
enlisted the support of Hawaii Senator Daniel K. Inouye who introduced
legislation which provided for the re-establishment of the system.
After the initial appropriation was made in 1987. PEACESAT and NTIA
joined forces to search for a successor to ATS-1, a process that took
the better part of two years.
PEACESAT and NTIA worked with the International PEACESAT Users Group
(IPUG) to first define user service requirements and then searched
for a satellite which could provide the required interconnection capacity.
Satellites were reviewed on the basis of several criteria: potential
availability; orbital position or potential position; earth coverage
footprint; recurring space segment costs; earth terminal complexity
and costs; spectrum availability; and operational status (interim
or long-term potential on the basis of the satellite's ability to
maintain orbital position and service). While the study reviewed information
regarding several private sector satellites operating in 1988, none
of them met all the PEACESAT criteria.
In the absence of any private sector alternative, strong appeals were
made by NTIA and PEACESAT for another U.S. government satellite. One
of the prime candidates was the GOES-3 (Geostationary
Operating Environmental Satellite), which was owned and operated by
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), another
agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The GOES satellite was
appealing to PEACESAT because the satellite provided a global footprint
and operated on frequencies that would permit the use of relatively
small, inexpensive earth terminals.
NOAA responded to the needs of the Pacific Islands and approved the
use of the GOES satellite for PEACESAT. In an extraordinary action,
NOAA also permitted the temporary use of the meteorological frequencies
for PEACESAT purposes. Without the support of NOAA, the current restoration
of PEACESAT service would not be possible. In December 1989, NTIA
and NOAA agreed that the PEACESAT Program could use the GOES-3 satellite
through 1994 while a long-term solution was pursued. Through a cooperative
agreement between NOAA and NTIA, the satellite was repositioned to
175 degrees West longitude, where it will be kept in geostationary
orbit by the NASA station at Kokee, Hawaii.
Since the GOES satellite operates on frequencies used for meteorological
purposes (1688 MHz downlink, 2030 MHz uplink),
PEACESAT must operate on a non-interference basis. The orbital
(175 degrees W. longitude) was selected to protect other users of
these frequencies while still providing coverage to the entire
A major problem regarding the use of the GOES was the lack of any
commercially available earth terminals which could operate on the
GOES frequencies and with the GOES power levels. Before a final decision
was made on the use the GOES, a study was conducted by an equipment
manufacturer on the feasibility of constructing a low-cost earth terminal.
As a result of this study, the University of Hawaii issued a Request
for Proposals in October 1989, for the design and manufacture of suitable
earth terminals. After a thorough review of the proposals received,
a contract was awarded to Marine-Air Systems, Ltd. (MAS), a small
company in Lower Hutt, New Zealand, for the manufacture of twenty-seven
earth terminals which would be placed in each of the former PEACESAT
sites that wished to resume its PEACESAT activities.
Prototypes of the earth terminals were tested in September 1990, and
the first operational units were installed at PEACESAT Hawaii in October,
1990. The MAS designed terminals meet or exceed each of the technical
specifications developed by the PEACESAT users. Figure 1 shows the
desired service requirements specified by the International PEACESAT
Users' Group at the outset of their search for an innovative ground
segment compared with the resulting equipment provided by MAS. Figure
2 compares the costs of current PEACESAT technology.
When PEACESAT sought funds from the U.S. Congress to reestablish PEACESAT
service, the users pledged that each location would contribute U.S.
$5,000 toward the acquisition of earth terminals. The Congressional
funding was sufficient to subsidize GOES earth terminals in 23 Pacific
Island locations and to purchase four terminals for network hub
operations, command and maintenance.
In the early stages of re-establishment, a large part of the responsibility
will be placed on the PEACESAT headquarters at the University of Hawaii.
The International PEACESAT Users" Group (PUG) recently convened in
Honolulu, Hawaii at a PEACESAT/Marine-Air Systems (MAS) GOES-3 satellite
space and ground segment training workshop with sixteen island countries
represented. Top priorities for IPUG were: a) support of the PEACESAT
Honolulu headquarters management staff in re-establishment of the
technology; b) the continued development of management and technical
systems, such as the data communications
system; c) the search for a long-term solution; and, d) the development
of alternative funding support beyond the Congressional appropriations.
Re-establishment of the PEACESAT networks on PEACESAT GOES begins
with four Pacific Island sites in December, two in January, nine in
February, and the remaining ten sites in March, 1990. Redundancy will
be emphasized wherever possible. The GOES satellite has two transmitter/receiver
systems. Two complete GOES terminals have been installed at the PEACESAT
hub at the University of Hawaii. Many
Island locations still have single side band HF equipment, which was
installed after the ATS-1 satellite was no longer available, or can
communicate with PEACESAT through the still operating ATS-3 system,
Figure 3. Pacific Island PEACESAT managers and operators trained at
the satellite workshop in October, 1990, will install the GOES earth
All the PEACESAT sites must file an application with the University
of Hawaii for re-establishment. After a PEACESAT Pacific Island site
has submitted a letter of intent committing U.S. $5,000 and they have
been approved as a PEACESAT GOES site, the next step in re-establishment
is approval for frequency use, which must be obtained from local licensing
authorities. Figure 4 documents the frequencies currently in use by
PEACESAT. Since the frequencies PEACESAT is using on the GOES satellite
are allocated by international agreement for meteorological use, PEACESAT's
use is only temporary through 1994 and must be on a non-interference
basis. PEACESAT and NTIA are working closely with the U.S. Department
of the Interior and the Federal Communications Commission for the
licensing of terminals in jurisdictions where frequencies are coordinated
by the United States. PEACESAT ground station management will have
to work closely with the Departments of Education and Communications
to receive approval from counterpart regulatory agencies in the non-American
While Pacific Island terminals are obtaining licensing authority to
access the GOES-3 frequencies, the sites will receive their GOES ground
segment equipment and install it. The equipment manufactured by Marine-Air
Systems, Ltd. has been designed to make both installation and maintenance
a task a lay person could perform. NTIA and PEACESAT have supported
a training video to accompany the delivery of the MAS equipment.
The PEACESAT GOES ground segment equipment will provide good and reliable
telephone quality service for push-to-talk and full-duplex:
voice programming; interactive computerized in-house PEACESAT scheduling;
electronic messaging; interactive database access; facsimile; slow
scan and video phone; automated medical and environmental emergency
support; and, automated data and voice access to all of the above
services on a 24-hour basis.
No PEACESAT GOES terminal can transmit on more than one channel
at any one time. The full PEACESAT GOES system is designed to carry
up to nine half-duplex and three
on the satellite. However, this level of service has not yet been
tested due to the limited number of operating terminals, and the number
of channels ultimately used will be
dependent on the level of intermodulation interference experienced
when so many channels are operating.
Future services for research and development are: broadcast data in
the form of bridging networks and multi-point-to-multi-point data
communications; and compressed
digitized video in the form of medium freeze-frame video.
The University of Hawaii PEACESAT headquarters will house two PEACESAT
GOES terminals. One will be used to monitor for medical and environmental
emergency programming, and the other will be used for program participation
by the user community in the State of Hawaii. the hub
data communications system
providing the above data services will also be housed in Honolulu.
PEACESAT Honolulu will gateway such services as the University of
Hawaii Library On-Line Catalogue Service. As user demand is assessed
these data communication services will expand.
Both hub and user software will be made
available to PEACESAT GOES sites. Since PEACESAT is based upon an
interactive mesh network, it is important
that other resource countries offer hub
data communication resource countries offer hub
data communication resources as well. For example, New Zealand has
offered access to its National Library Services, and the Solomon Islands
has offered fisheries databases.
Although the PEACESAT Honolulu GOES station will be staffed at least
eight to ten hours a day, access to the hub
will be necessary throughout the long Pacific day, which mover through
several time zones. Guam is getting up when Honolulu is eating lunch.
It was imperative then to automate the headquarters terminal so that
any remote site will be able to access the Honolulu PEACESAT GOES
site through voice and/or data services on a 24 hour basis.
In preparation for the restoration of PEACESAT service, PEACESAT management
and IPUG have been working for the past year on the development of
programming services. Pacific Island government and non-profit user
demand currently shows a need for programming in the areas of environmental
and medical emergency support, disaster preparedness and prevention
measures, art, community service, culture, development, credit/no-credit
distance education, health, cross-cultural social issues, remote site
field support, research, institutional support, resource-sharing information,
science, and technology. PEACESAT management will constantly monitor
demand for programming. Emerging issues and concerns will be constantly
reviewed by PEACESAT IPUG management and developed into active programming.
Figure 5 gives a partial sample schedule of PEACESAT programming,
6 hours of a 24 hour day on four voice channels
and two data channels.
PEACESAT is concentrating on the re-establishment of terminals in
the Pacific Islands. However, as seen from Figure 6, the GOES footprint
covers countries from North America, the Pacific and eastern Asia.
PEACESAT anticipates that non-profit organizations in these other
areas may be interested in participating in the PEACESAT programming
5. Challenges of the Future
The re-establishment of the PEACESAT networks presents some very
real challenges. For the last five years, PEACESAT has been without
a reliable space segment to support its pan-Pacific networks. The ATS-3
served the eastern Pacific (the Samoas, Tonga, Cook Island, and Hawaii),
the Single Sideband radio linked Hawaii and Micronesia, and the drifting
ATS-1 was not available long enough to reestablish very much meaningful
programming. During the five-year period several of the terminal operators
in the Pacific were reassigned to other jobs. In some parts of the Pacific,
PEACESAT is only a memory. the first task is to assure the former PEACESAT
users that the services have been reestablished, and that the system
will provide reliable, high quality voice and data communications.
Once the new GOES system becomes operational and the earth terminals
and programming are demonstrated, it is anticipated that all of the
former ATS-1 users will join the system.
A tremendous amount of remote site local institutional and government
support will be required to assist PEACESAT headquarters in re-establishing
all of the past ATS-1 sites. Although the new GOES earth terminal
equipment has been subsidized by the U.S. Government, each site is
still expected to provide a significant amount of support. In addition
to the $5,000 contribution, each site is expected to provide a concrete
pad for the GOES antenna, a suitable building for housing the equipment,
an operator, a personal computer and facsimile machine, and insurance
against loss or damage of the equipment. For some of the less developed
countries in the region, these requirements will not be easily met.
In the re-establishment process, PEACESAT has by necessity devoted
considerable time to obtain the hardware systems required to support
the restoration of satellite service. The emphasis must now turn to
programming, management systems, and extensive remote site training
in order to transfer this technology and its applications to the users.
The new and improved technology made available through the GOES system
will undoubtedly give rise to new needs and types of programming which
must be developed to meet those needs.
PEACESAT must also convince the users that this is not just another
short-term arrangement that will soon pass. Barring the unexpected
failure of the satellite, the GOES system is guaranteed for at least
the next four years. PEACESAT anticipates a long-term solution in
sight before the end of 1994, a solution that will carry PEACESAT
well into the 21st century. It is hoped that after minor modifications,
the MAS S-band earth terminals can be used with any post-GOES system.
Another challenge to the continuation of PEACESAT is funding. Although
each site is self-supporting, NTIA is currently funding NASA's telemetry
and command of the GOES satellite. It is not known at this time how
long Federal support for this expense will continue or what level
of funding might be required from PEACESAT.
Alternative funding to support the PEACESAT networks and their programming
Will be sought through foundations, science and technology funding
agencies, individual user, and through developed and developing country
government and non-profit support agencies. Two considerations have
frustrated PEACESAT efforts for alternative funding to date: 1. PEACESAT
has been restrained from seeking alternative funding until a satellite
network system was established; and 2. funding agencies which support
grants of the size necessary for PEACESAT support do not fund projects
which are international in the scope PEACESAT involves. Rather, they
tend to fund specific countries or combinations of countries.