For the past 40 years, Compunetix has had a successful working relationship with NASA, designing complex communication platforms for their space missions. The partnership began when NASA needed a sizeable upgrade to their communication system at its Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. NASA had something specific in mind; they wanted a digital 4,000 port system that would instantly connect people across the globe. At the time, NASA had networking capabilities, but they were cumbersome and required numerous technicians to manually configure and connect the calls. With advancements in computer technology, NASA envisioned a more efficient system.
Compunetix wasn’t the only company vying for NASA’s contract. AT&T and others held similar ambitions, but it was the seminal “Compunetics Switching Network” invention that set Compunetix apart from their competition. Founder and President of Compunetix, Dr. Giorgio Coraluppi invented an algorithm that enabled thousands of callers to join in on a single telephone call. This groundbreaking advancement is known as the modern-day conference call.
NASA eventually chose Compunetix to develop, build, and implement two new digital systems for voice switching and voice distribution (VSS and VSD), which allowed voice connections and conference loops to be reconfigured instantly and automatically. The shift from analog to digital meant that telecommunications could be done instantaneously, with the push of a button. By 1992, Compunetix had replaced all of NASCOM’s technology.
The partnership between Compunetix and NASA continued while enabling Compunetix’s success in other industries. The technology developed for the Goddard Space Flight Center in the 1980s became the foundation of the commercial telecommunications market. On November 26, 2011, NASA used Compunetix teleconferencing technology to launch Curiosity, a rover destined for Mars. A year later, Compunetix launched the CONTEX Mission Voice Platform (MVP), the fourth-generation mission voice system and current flagship product for mission control.
The successful collaboration between Compunetix and NASA has not gone unnoticed. In late October, Compunetix and Dr. Giorgio Coraluppi will be inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame at the 36th Annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. The hall of fame is designated for companies and inventors whose creations, originally designed for use in space, have transformed life on earth. The technology invented for Goddard directly impacted digital collaboration technology for private corporations, communication service providers, and government agencies. With over one million ports installed in more than 35 countries, Compunetix has the largest worldwide deployment of digital communication solutions.