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Early communications experiments and tests conducted by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center with the Relay and Syncom II satellites pointed out the need for better and faster data acquisition and reduction techniques. One of the main objectives of the ATS communications experiments was to develop a data system which would totally automate the data acquisition and data reduction process. This paper describes the hardware and software methods, techniques, and philosophies associated with the development of an automatic data handling system for the ATS communications experiments. The system described herein is the forerunner for the new generation of highly sophisticated, automated data systems of the future.