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In recognition of the tremendous growth of and the benefits provided by communications satellites, the Guest Editors believe it important to present this special issue covering the broad spectrum of software associated with communications satellites. The first tutorial article is an overview of all the software associated with communications satellites. This tutorial also reviews many current on-board computers and discusses technology trends for on-board computer systems. The next article is an excellent presentation of the orbital and attitude control requirements for spinning communications satellites. The next work discusses the software associated with the analysis, optimization, and operation of the Intelsat system, which supports the telecommunications needs of the international community. This article describes the complex issues that must be addressed to meet the needs of the member nations. The final article describes the use of computer-aided engineering, or CAE(mechanical) in designing a communications satellite.