Applications Technology Satellite 6 (ATS 6), Thermal Structural Model
Applications Technology Satellite 6 (ATS 6), active from 1974-1979, was the last in the ATS series of experimental satellites sponsored by NASA to test new technologies in space communications. ATS-6 operated from geosynchronous orbit and contained nineteen communications and technology experiments. This full-scale Thermal Structural Model was used as an engineering tool during development of the actual satellite to analyze and design for the effects of launch vibration and the extreme temperatures of space.
ATS-6's most prominent technology was a thirty-foot diameter antenna. This feature allowed ground stations to receive signals with small, inexpensive antennas, a marked change from the early days of space communications when massive ground stations were required to pick up signals from satellites. The new antennas allowed for the first time many rural or geographically remote communities to benefit from space communications.
The Museum's artifact was transferred from NASA in 1978.
Transferred from NASA
- Country of Origin
- United States of America
- Aluminized Kapton, Plastic, Glass, Phenolic Resin, Kapton (Polymide), Acrylic (Plexiglas), Paint, Gold Plating, Copper, Steel, Velcro, Nylon, Adhesive, Epoxy, Rubber (Silicone), Magnesium
- Tower - carbon fiber
- Spacecraft bus: 65 in. tall x 54 in. wide x 54 in. deep (165.1 x 137.2 x 137.2 cm).
- Parabolic antenna, deployed: 360 diameter in (914.4 cm).
- Overall width, with all antennas deployed: 624 in (1585 cm); overall height: 330 in (838.2 cm)