Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Space Studies

First Advisor

David Whalen


Telesat Canada is a satellite communications firm, founded in 1969, that provides global broadcast and broadband services. Its fleet of satellites includes the geostationary Anik line. On January 20, 1994, a major solar storm knocked out communications on two Anik satellites. Anik E1 was recovered through a backup system within hours. However, Anik E2 was non-operational until June 31, 1994, when engineers used an innovative ground fix to regain control.

This thesis proposes to trace what happened to Anik E2 and its effect on Canada's broadcast industry. It will act as a case study for the implications for satellite companies looking to gird themselves against the effects of solar storms. The aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of what was learned from the near-loss of Anik E2 and to provide information for broadcast professionals, satellite technicians and policy makers concerning what to do should a similar incident happen again.