Anik (satellite)

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Launch of Anik B1 in December 1978

The Anik satellites are a series of geostationary communications satellites launched by Telesat Canada for television in Canada, from 1972 through 2013. Some of the later satellites in the series remain operational in orbit, while others have been retired and are derelict. The naming of the satellite was determined by a national contest, and was won by Julie-Frances Czapla of St. Leonard, Quebec.[1] In Inuktitut, Anik means "little brother".[2]

The Satellites

Name Satellite type Launched Retired Launch vehicle
Anik A1 Hughes Aircraft HS-333 November 9, 1972 July 15, 1982 Delta 1914 rocket
Anik A2 Hughes Aircraft HS-333 April 20, 1973 October 6, 1982 Delta rocket
Anik A3 Hughes Aircraft HS-333 May 7, 1975 November 21, 1984 Delta rocket
Anik B1 RCA Astro Satcom December 15, 1978[3] December 1, 1986 Delta rocket
Anik C1 Hughes Aircraft HS-376 April 12, 1985 May 5, 2003 Space Shuttle Discovery
Anik C2 Hughes Aircraft HS-376 June 18, 1983 January 7, 1998 Space Shuttle Challenger
Anik C3 Hughes Aircraft HS-376 November 11, 1982 June 18, 1997 Space Shuttle Columbia
Anik D1 Hughes Aircraft HS-376 August 26, 1982 December 16, 1991 Delta rocket
Anik D2 Hughes Aircraft HS-376 November 8, 1984 January 31, 1995 Space Shuttle Discovery
Anik E1 GE Astro 5000 September 26, 1991 January 18, 2005[citation needed] Ariane 4
Anik E2 GE Astro 5000 April 4, 1991 November 23, 2005[citation needed] Ariane 4
Anik F1 HS 702 (later, became the Boeing 702) November 21, 2000 Still in use Ariane 4
Anik F2 Boeing 702 July 17, 2004 Still in use Ariane 5G
Anik F1R Eurostar E3000 September 9, 2005 Still in use Proton/Breeze-M
Anik F3 Eurostar E3000 April 10, 2007 Still in use Proton/Breeze-M
Anik G1 Space Systems Loral 1300[4] April 16, 2013 Still in use Proton/Breeze-M

Anik A

Inspection of an Anik A in the early 1970s

The Anik A satellites were the world's first national domestic satellites. (Prior to Anik A1's launch, all geosynchronous communications satellites were transcontinental, i.e. Intelsat I and others.)[citation needed] The Anik A fleet of satellites gave CBC the ability to reach the Canadian North for the first time. Each of the satellites was equipped with 12 C-band transponders, and thus had the capacity for 12 colour television channels.

Anik B

The Anik B satellite had twelve C-band transponders like the Anik As, with an additional six Ku band transponders.

It was launched on December 15, 1978 and was the successor to the Anik A series and Hermes (aka Communications Technology Satellite, or CTS) experimental satellite.

Most of the transponders were devoted to CBC Television—East and West feed, CBC Parliamentary Television Network, CITV-TV Edmonton, CHCH Hamilton, and TVOntario.

CNCP Telecommunications[5] also used Anik B as a relay for its services. The Globe and Mail used Anik B to transmit copy to printing plants across Canada.[6]

Anik C

The Canadian Telesat-F (Anik C2) communications satellite in June 1983, about to be deployed by the shuttle Challenger to begin its way to its earth-orbital destination.

The Anik C satellite series was three times more powerful than the Anik A series. They each had sixteen Ku band transponders.

Anik C-3 was used to distribute Canada's first pay television networks -- First Choice, Superchannel, C-Channel, Star Channel, AIM Pay-TV since February 1983.

Anik C-3 transponder lineup (1983):

Anik D

Anik D1 & D2 series C-Band satellites were launched in 1982 and 1984. They were based on the Hughes 376 design.

Anik E

Anik E1 & E2 were launched in the early 1990s to replace Anik D1 & D2. Unlike the cylinder-shaped satellites of the D-series, these were regular type satellites, but newer generation.

Anik E2 experienced an anomaly during deployment of its C-band antenna, which was successfully deployed after several corrective maneuvers.[7]

On Thursday, January 20, 1994, Anik E1 and E2 suffered problems due to solar activity. E1 failed first at 12:50 (EST), knocking out satellite-delivered television signals in Canada. After a few hours, Telesat managed to restore normal functions on E1 at 20:15 EST. At 21:00 EST, E2 failed, as the gyroscope that helps keep the satellite positioned correctly had caused the signals not to point towards Earth. The exact problem lay with the circuitry having to do with the stabilizing momentum wheel.[8] E2 was not restored to service for five months; users had to relocate services to E1 and reposition satellite dishes; for some users, such as Northwestel in northern Canada, it meant days of flying technicians from one community to another to reposition the dishes.

Telesat ultimately restored E2 by constructing special earth stations at each end of the country to monitor the satellite's position, and using its control jets to finely position the satellite, but this shortened the satellite's lifetime as the fuel was intended for much less frequent adjustments along its geostationary orbit.

On March 26, 1996, another catastrophic failure occurred. A critical diode on Anik E1's solar panel shorted out, causing a permanent loss of half the satellite's power.[9]

Anik F1

Anik F1
General information
Launch Date November 21, 2000
Launch Mass 4710 kg
Orbit Mass 3,015 kilograms (6,647 lb)
Launcher /
Flight Number
Ariane 4 / Flight 136 [1]
Lifetime 15 year
Transponder Information
Transponder Capacity
Twta output power
Expendable Energy
Former location
Current location
List of broadcast satellites

Anik F1 is a Canadian geosynchronous communications satellite that was launched on November 21, 2000 by an Ariane 4 rocket from the European Space Agency Guiana Space Centre at Kourou. At the moment of its launch it was the most powerful communications satellite ever built. It has an advanced xenon Ion thruster propulsion system and its communication "footprint" covers Central America as well as North America.

It was launched by Telesat, a Canadian communications company. The primary customers are the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Shaw Direct, CHUM Limited and Canadian Satellite Communications Inc.

  • Manufacturer: Telesat Canada
  • Satellite Type: Boeing Satellite Systems (formerly Hughes aircraft) bus model 702
  • Mass: 4710 kg (10,384 lb) at launch and 3015 kg (6647 lb) in orbit
  • Dimensions: 40.4 m (132.5 feet) long and 9.0 m (29.5 feet) wide with the solar panels and antennas deployed.
  • DC power: 17.5 kW
  • Expected lifetime: 15 years
  • Transponders: 84 C band and Ku band
  • Launch vehicle: Ariane 4

The solar panels of Anik F1 degraded more rapidly than expected, and a replacement Anik F1R was launched in 2005, with Anik F1 switching to serving only South America [2]. Anik F1R also carries a GPS/WAAS payload.

Anik F2

At 5,900 kilograms (13,000 lb), it is more than ten times the size of Anik A2 and is one of the largest, most powerful communications satellites ever built. Anik F2 is a Boeing 702-series satellite, designed to support and enhance current North American voice, data, and broadcast services with its C- and Ku-band technologies. It is the fifteenth satellite to be launched by Telesat.

With its use of Ka band technology, low-cost two-way satellite delivery will be available for wireless broadband Internet connections, telemedicine, teleteaching, teleworking and e-commerce in the most remote regions of Canada.

On October 6, 2011 starting around 6:30 am EST a "technical anomaly" caused the satellite to point away from the earth causing an outage in Internet, telephone and bank machine connectivity throughout much of Canada's northern areas. The outage also affected flights in the region.[10][11][12]

Anik F3

According to SatNews Publishers, Anik F3 is a 4,634-kilogram (10,216 lb) broadcasting and telecommunications satellite which will provide direct-to-home television in the United States, broadband Internet and telecommunications for Bell Canada, and broadcast TV in northern and other remote areas of Canada.[13] It was built by EADS Astrium and launched on a Proton M rocket. It was successfully placed into orbit by International Launch Services, who also launched Anik F1R, Nimiq 1 and Nimiq 2.

However, previous to launch, it was announced that Dish [formerly Dish Network] would be leasing the entire capacity of Anik F3 for its entire estimated life of approximately 15 years. Today, Anik F3 is used by Dish to beam its "international" foreign language channel offerings. A slightly larger reflector provided by Dish to its customers is required to receive the weaker (as compared to the stronger Ku DBS band used by Dish and DirecTV as their primary satellites) Ku FSS band reliably. Also, Dish uses a specially designed "combo" LNB that houses both elements necessary to receive Dish services from both 118 and 119 taking the space of only a single LNB. The combo LNB is also available part of a single LNBF unit that can also receive additional Dish programming at 110 and 129 satellite locations for reception of Dish's entire Western Arc constellation of satellites providing both SD and HD content. Dish does not produce any 118 only LNBF's for its systems, only the combo 118/119 by itself or as part of a single unit that also receives other Dish satellites.

Anik G1

The launch of G1 was announced by Telesat 2013-APR-16.[14]

Anik G1 is a multi-mission satellite with three different payloads that will provide direct-to-home (DTH) television service in Canada, as well as broadband, voice, data, and video services in South America where economic growth has driven high demand for satellite services. It is also the first commercial satellite with a substantial X-band payload for government communications over the Americas and the Pacific Ocean including Hawaii. The satellite will be positioned at 107.3 degrees West longitude where it will be co-located with Telesat’s Anik F1 satellite, doubling both the C-band and Ku-band transponders serving South America from the 107.3 degrees West orbital location.[15]


  1. The Anik satellite and northern Canada: Did You Know?, CBC Archives
  2. "anik". Asuilaak Living Dictionary. Retrieved 2007-02-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Reuters (December 20, 1978). "Canadian satellite set in orbit position". Globe and Mail. p. 2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Clifford, Edward (May 31, 1980). "Rockets may lift Telesat's Aniks". Globe and Mail. p. B16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Immen, Wallace (September 10, 1982). "Platform to give Anik a boost after ride on space shuttle". Globe and Mail. p. E8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. David Michael Harland and Ralph Lorenz (2005). Space systems failures: disasters and rescues of satellites, rockets and space probes. Springer. p. 296.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Anik E ... Phone Home". Broadcaster: 12. March 1994.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. The 23rd Cycle: Learning to Live with a Stormy Star by Sten Odenwald
  10. "Satellite problems ground Nunavut flights". CBC News. October 7, 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Canadian Satellite Malfunction Leaves Thousands Without Communications
  13. "Anik F3 Launch Successful". SatNews Daily.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links