Anik (satellite)


The Anik satellites are a series of geostationary communications satellites launched for Telesat Canada for television, voice and data in Canada and other parts of the world, from 1972 through 2013. Some of the later satellites in the series remain operational in orbit, while others have been retired to a graveyard orbit. The naming of the satellite was determined by a national contest, and was won by Julie-Frances Czapla of Saint-Léonard, Québec.[1] In Inuktitut, Anik means "brother".[2][3]

Launch of Anik B1 in December 1978


Name Satellite type Launched Retired Launch vehicle
Anik A1 Hughes Aircraft HS-333 November 9, 1972 July 15, 1982 Delta 1914
Anik A2 Hughes Aircraft HS-333 April 20, 1973 October 6, 1982 Delta 1914
Anik A3 Hughes Aircraft HS-333 May 7, 1975 November 21, 1984 Delta 2914
Anik B1 RCA Astro Satcom December 15, 1978[4] December 1, 1986 Delta 3914
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 3920
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[5] Ariane 44P
Anik E2 GE Astro 5000 April 4, 1991 November 23, 2005[5] Ariane 44P
Anik F1 HS 702 November 21, 2000 Still in use Ariane 44L
Anik F2 Boeing 702 July 17, 2004 Still in use Ariane 5 G
Anik F1R Eurostar E3000 September 9, 2005 Still in use Proton M / Briz-M
Anik F3 Eurostar E3000 April 10, 2007 Still in use Proton M / Briz-M
Anik G1 SSL 1300[6] April 16, 2013 Still in use Proton M / Briz-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.)[7] The Anik A fleet of three 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. Three channels were allocated for CBC, two to TCTS and CNCP Telecommunications, two to Bell Canada, one for Canadian Overseas Telecommunications. Two channels were to put on reserve and the remaining two were unallocated (future use).[8][9]

Anik B


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 feeds of CBC North, CBC Parliamentary Television Network, CITV-TV Edmonton, CHCH Hamilton, and TVOntario.

CNCP Telecommunications[10] 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.[11]

Anik C

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

The Anik C satellite series tripled the power output of the Anik A series. Anik C also allowed a significant increase in telecommunications capacity over Anik A. Each Anik C satellite had sixteen Ku-band transponders.[12]

Anik C3 was used to distribute Canada's first pay television networks -- First Choice, Superchannel, C-Channel, Star Channel, AIM Pay-TV since February 1983.

Anik C3 transponder lineup (1983):

Anik D


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

Anik E


Anik E1 and Anik E2 were launched in the early 1990s to replace Anik D1 and Anik D2. Unlike the cylinder-shaped spin-stabilised satellites of the D-series, these were cubical, 3-axis satellites using momentum wheels for attitude stabilisation.

Anik E2 experienced an anomaly during deployment of its C-band antenna, which was successfully deployed after several corrective maneuvers.[13]

On Thursday, January 20, 1994, Anik E1 and Anik E2 suffered problems due to solar activity. Anik E1 failed first at 17:50 UTC, knocking out satellite-delivered television signals in Canada. After a few hours, Telesat managed to restore normal functions on Anik E1 at 00:15 UTC, on 21 January 1994. At 01:00 UTC, both the primary and redundant Anik E2 momentum wheels failed, thus eliminating the gyroscope effect that helps keep the satellite pointed correctly towards Earth. The exact problem lay with the circuitry having to do with the stabilizing momentum wheel.[14] Anik E2 was not restored to service for five months; users had to relocate services to Anik 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 Anik E2 by constructing special earth stations at each end of the country to monitor the satellite's position, and designed specialised software to use a combination of its control jets and magnetic torquing coils to finely position the satellite. Even though a small amount of extra stationkeeping fuel was needed for pitch control, the efficiencies from using the magnetic coils for roll-yaw adjustment compensated for fuel usage that would have been used in those axes, so there was an insignificant overall effect on fuel use throughout the life of the satellite. The Anik E2 satellite continued to provide full service for 14 years; two years longer than its design life of 12 years.

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.[15]

Anik F1 and F1R

Animation of Anik-F1R trajectory around Earth showing the Geostationary transfer orbit.

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 Centre Spatial Guyanais 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 for Telesat Canada, a Canadian communications company. The primary customers are the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Shaw Direct, CHUM Limited and Canadian Satellite Communications Inc., and Bell Canada Enterprise Inc.

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 in addition to the C-band and Ku-band transponders. The GPS /WAAS Payload was disabled on May 15, 2022, in concert with the activation of Galaxy XV.

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-Band and Ku-band technologies. It is the fifteenth satellite to be launched by Telesat Canada.

With its use of Ka band technology, low-cost two-way satellite delivery will be available for wireless Internet access connections, telehealth, distance education, remote work applications, and e-commerce in the most remote regions of Canada.

On October 6, 2011, starting around 06:30 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.[16][17][18] Some hospitals in Québec reported an outage in their communications systems as a result of the satellite outage.[19] The anomaly was caused when the satellite did not respond well to a software update. As it failed, it turned away from the Earth and positioned itself towards the Sun in order to keep critical systems running. This was Anik F2's first outage. The event caused the Canadian military's research arm, Defence Research and Development Canada, to start considering satellites as critical infrastructure systems and to invest in research to develop innovations that will help protect Canadian satellites from failures.[20]

On October 2, 2016, at approximately 17:00 EDT, another malfunction with Anik F2 resulted in a loss of Northwestel's long distance and cellular service, Xplornet and some of SSI Micro Internet, and some TV signals for Shaw Direct Satellite TV.[21][22]

Anik F2 has lost two of its four thrusters. As a result, continued operation uses significantly more fuel. Telesat has announced[23] that it is acquiring an in-orbit satellite to replace Anik F2. An FCC filing by Telesat has since revealed[24] that the company is buying AMC-11 from SES. Once the FCC has issued its permit, Telesat can take over AMC-11 and move it to 111.1° West. It will be renamed Anik F4.

Anik F3


According to SatNews Publishers, Anik F3 is a 4,634 kilograms (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.[25] 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 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 Anik G1 was announced by Telesat on April 16, 2013.[26]

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° 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° West orbital location.[27]


  1. ^ "CBC Archives". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  2. ^ "anik". Uqausiit. Archived from the original on 19 January 2024. Retrieved 10 February 2024.
  3. ^ "Inuttut-English Dictionary". Archived from the original on 19 January 2024. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  4. ^ "Canadian satellite set in orbit position". Globe and Mail. Reuters. December 20, 1978. p. 2.
  5. ^ a b Lam, H.-L.; Boteler, D. H.; Burlton, B.; Evans, J. (October 2012). "Anik-E1 and E2 satellite failures of January 1994 revisited". Space Weather. 10 (10). Bibcode:2012SpWea..1010003L. doi:10.1029/2012SW000811. S2CID 119073685. Retrieved February 11, 2023.
  6. ^ "1300 Series Satellite Platform". Archived from the original on 2010-02-10. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
  7. ^ "Anik A 1, 2, 3". Retrieved 2019-05-04.
  8. ^ "Anik-1 Launch Successful". Winnipeg Free Press. Canadian Press. November 10, 1972. pp. 1, 4.
  9. ^ Carruthers, Jeff (November 10, 1972). "Anik Draws Admirers". Winnipeg Free Press. Canadian Press. p. 4.
  10. ^ Clifford, Edward (May 31, 1980). "Rockets may lift Telesat's Aniks". Globe and Mail. p. B16.
  11. ^ Immen, Wallace (September 10, 1982). "Platform to give Anik a boost after ride on space shuttle". Globe and Mail. p. E8.
  12. ^ Krebs, Gunter D. "Anik C 1, 2, 3 / Nahuel I1, I2 / Brasil 1T". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved February 11, 2023.
  13. ^ David Michael Harland and Ralph Lorenz (2005). Space systems failures: disasters and rescues of satellites, rockets and space probes. Springer. p. 296.
  14. ^ "Anik E ... Phone Home". Broadcaster: 12. March 1994.
  15. ^ Sten Odenwald (2002). The 23rd Cycle: Learning to Live with a Stormy Star. Columbia University Press. p. 65. ISBN 978-0-231-50593-2.
  16. ^ "Satellite problems ground Nunavut flights". CBC News. October 7, 2011. Archived from the original on 6 October 2011.
  17. ^ "Canadian Satellite Malfunction Leaves Thousands Without Communications | Anik F2 Satellite Communications & Satellite GPS | Satellite Failures & Satellite Technology |". 7 October 2011. Archived from the original on 2014-03-08. Retrieved 2013-10-01. Canadian Satellite Malfunction Leaves Thousands Without Communications
  19. ^ "Des dizaines de milliers de Canadiens touchés par la panne d'un satellite". Radio-Canada. October 6, 2011. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  20. ^ "Satellites need protection as 'critical infrastructure', military says". CBC News. November 29, 2015. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  21. ^ "Interruption of Service on Telesat's Anik F2 Satellite". Globe News Wire. October 2, 2016. Archived from the original on 3 October 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  22. ^ "Nunatsiaq News 2016-10-03: NEWS: Telesat satellite screw-up knocks out internet, LD phone service across northern Canada". 3 October 2016. Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  23. ^ Rainbow, Jason (Nov 8, 2022). "Telesat buys in-orbit satellite to help cover Anik F2 shortfall". Space News. Retrieved 11 July 2023.
  24. ^ "Application to the FCC to transfer AMC-11 to Telesat". FCC. Retrieved 11 July 2023.
  25. ^ "Anik F3 Launch Successful". SatNews Daily. Archived from the original on 2012-02-05.
  26. ^ "Telesat Successfully Launches Anik G1 Satellite - Telesat". 16 April 2013. Archived from the original on 12 January 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  27. ^ "SSL-Built Multi-Mission Satellite for Telesat Begins Post-Launch Maneuvers According to Plan". Archived from the original on 2013-04-30. Retrieved 2013-05-01.
  • Telesat's list of satellites
  • The list from the CSA's website
  • CBC Digital Archives - Launching the Digital Age: Canadian Satellites
  • Anik D series
  • Anik F1
  • Anik F2
  • Anik F3 Channel List at Sathint Archived 2013-08-09 at the Wayback Machine
  • 1972 Anik A1 NWT Historical Timeline, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre
  • Anik F1 footprint(s) at SatBeams
  • Anik F1R footprint(s) at SatBeams
  • Anik F2 footprint(s) at SatBeams
  • Anik F3 footprint(s) at SatBeams
  • Anik G1 footprint(s) at SatBeams