To keep pace with Canadian communications demands in the 1980s, Telesat Canada has contracted with Space and Communications Group to build three new satellites under a $53.6 million agreement.
The three satellites will comprise the Anik C series. Anik is an Eskimo word meaning brother.
Once they are operational, the three spacecraft will handle a major portion of the countries long distance communication traffic within 1000 miles of the U.S border where most of Canada’s 23 million citizens live.
The first Anik C is scheduled for a 1981 launch from NASA’s space shuttle.
Once Anik becomes operational, it will be one of the world’s first satellites to provide telecommunications services in the super high frequency range of 12-14 billion cycles per second.
Use of these frequencies permits the antenna to remain about the size of antenna used on previous Anik satellites, yet to be capable of producing narrow beams necessary for the high-radiated power.
Because of these capabilities, Anik C will be able to use compact earth stations located in the middle of urban areas without causing interference to terrestrial systems using lower frequencies. The earth terminals will be small enough to be mounted on the roofs or in the parking lots of user offices.
Anik C features 18 communication channels supplying audio, video, and data communication services.
The use of polarization diversity on Anik C allows for a 100 percent increase in communications capacity over the first Anik, launched in1972. Anik C will use a solar panel that will generate nearly three times the power of the first satellites
The new Aniks will join the HAC-built Anik A spacecraft satellite system. That system which became operational in early 1973, was the world’s first national commercial telecommunications network.
Anik satellites are operated by Telesat Canada, a firm owned jointly by the Canadian government and 13 Canadian telecommunications carriers.