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Longueuil, Quebec, July 17, 2004 – In a picture-perfect launch at 8:44 p.m. EDT, Anik F2, Telesat Canada's innovative, high-speed Ka-band, multimedia telecommunications satellite ascended from the forest canopy of the Arianespace launch facilities in Kourou, French Guiana, aboard an Ariane 5 rocket.
Once fully positioned in geostationary orbit, 35,000 kilometres above the equator, Anik F2 will be optimized over the coming months for a wide range of leading-edge telecommunications services.
"By investing in the advanced telecommunications payloads of Anik F2, the Canadian Space Agency and Telesat are driving innovation in the marketplace, extending the reach of Canadian-designed and -operated satellite communications technologies and services," said CSA President Marc Garneau.
At 5,900 kilograms, it is more than 10 times the size of Anik A1 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.
In addition to its dual band capabilities, this advanced satellite carries a bold innovation: a state-of-the-art multimedia payload that uses the new Ka-band frequency, developed through a partnership of the Canadian Space Agency, Communications Research Canada (CRC), Telesat, EMS Technologies, and COM DEV.
EMS Technologies developed the experimental onboard processor, SpaceMux. It enables two remote ground stations to communicate terminal-to-terminal, without going through a hub, using Anik F2's Ka-band spot beams.
COM DEV developed BEAM*LINK, a multiplexing system to direct and funnel information traffic from one band to another in real-time. This is more efficient, since it is now possible to avoid "traffic jams" by rerouting the overflow to other frequencies or bands.
CSA contributed $10 million to both EMS and COMDEV for the development of these payloads.
With 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. This is part of the Government of Canada's National Satellite Initiative.
This initiative addresses the high cost of broadband access for communities in the far and mid-north, and in remote areas of Canada. Broadband access using Anik F2's Ka-band technology will provide communities in remote regions with more opportunities to move forward socially and economically. The initiative will significantly reduce the cost of providing the service to these communities. Thus, the Government of Canada is a step closer to its goal of bringing high-capacity Internet access to all Canadian communities.
"This technology will help transform Canada's most isolated areas into Smart Communities, so that Canadian families and businesses have improved access to government services, telemedecine, and distance learning," Mr. Garneau says.
For the CSA's total investment of $80 million in Anik F2, Telesat will provide the Government of Canada with $60-million worth of multimedia satellite services dedicated to the National Satellite Initiative.