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Background material to place in proper context the effect of the use of millimeter-wave earth-to-satellite links on military communications. The complete writer-to-reader message path is described, including administrative delays (approval, awaiting pick-up, local mail delivery), communications processing, and transmission time. Analysis of statistics on speed of service for AUTODIN, the principal military communications network at present, shows that the smallest contributions to the total message delay come from communications transit time, the only system delay that would be affected by rain outages in millimeter wave links. Over 25 percent of high-precedence traffic is delayed by several hours in administrative handling. The delay distribution is severely skewed toward larger delays, and the AUTODIN network serves the majority of users much better than is indicated by the mean delay. The report is a basic building block to place rain outages on EHF links in a realistic perspective.

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