An existing TDRSS satellite communication system is incorporated, together with low-power ground-based remote transceivers of special design, and additional beam forming and steering elements at the ground terminals, to make possible digital communication between low power field transceivers and satellite ground terminals. The satellite communication system transmits to its ground terminals a composite signal, comprising amplified, phase-coherent signals received by an array of broad-coverage antennas on the satellite. The field transceiver transmits a pseudonoise coded signal spread across all or a portion of the satellite's receive bandwidth. At the ground terminal, the downlinked composite signal is processed by a beamformer to define a narrow, high-gain beam between the satellite and low-power transceiver. Signal processing gain and beamformer gain in combination serve to elevate the received, demodulated signals well above the noise level at the receiver. Through this invention, a large multiplicity of non-interfering reverse-link (remote-to-central) narrow-band communication channels may be supported by a host satellite communication system of the nature described. By the introduction of forward link signal channels into the satellite ground terminal, and scheduling of forward link transmissions to the set of low-power remote transceivers along with normal transmit activities, highly useful two-way communication can be extended to a class of users not initially served by the satellite communication system.