Watch a clip of Dextre's first repair job on the International Space Station. Video provided by NASA TV. From You Tube.
Alouette 1 carried 2 Canadian-developed spacecraft antennae with tip-to-tip lengths of 23 and 45 m, respectively, which were deployed after the satellite was in orbit. Alouette 1 was followed by Alouette 2 (1965) and by ISIS (International Satellites for Ionospheric Studies) 1 (1969) and 2 (1971).
These satellites were designed and built at the Defence Research Telecommunications Establishment in OTTAWA (in 1969 this became the Communications Research Centre (CRC) of the Dept of Communications). Each satellite was increasingly complex in design and measurement capability and each involved greater participation by the then developing Canadian AEROSPACE INDUSTRY.
Other Canadian and foreign organizations contributed equipment and experiments to the program, and studies were carried out using the results from the satellite investigations in conjunction with ground-based measurements in various countries.
Alouette 1 and ISIS 2 were launched into near-circular orbits, at about 1000 km and 1400 km above Earth respectively; Alouette 2 and ISIS 1 were launched into elliptical orbits with perigees of 500 km and apogees of 3000 and 3500 km respectively. Each of the Alouette/ISIS series of satellites vastly exceeded its design lifetime.
Telesat Canada Corp
Canada's attention then turned to applying space technology to serve the requirements imposed by the country's widely dispersed population, its vast distances, diverse terrain and severe CLIMATE. In 1964 Canada joined with several other nations in establishing an international system (Intelsat) for the exchange of commercial international TELECOMMUNICATIONS traffic.
Following a 1968 white paper on the possibility of establishing a domestic SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS system, the Telesat Canada Corp was established by an act of parliament in 1969. The corporation was initially owned jointly by the federal government and Canadian telecommunications carriers; the Canadian government sold its shares in 1992. Telesat's monopoly on satellite communications to and from points in Canada expired on 1 March 2000.
Anik A Series
This series was built by a US prime contractor but involved major participation by Canadian industry. These satellites operated in the 6/4 GHz band (transmitted at frequencies of 4 GHz (billion hertz) and received at 6 GHz) and were located at 104°W, 109°W and 114°W longitude.
Hermes had several objectives: to develop and flight-test a high-power, high-efficiency travelling-wave-tube amplifier (wide band power amplifier such as those used in RADAR or communications transmitters) operating at 12 GHz; to develop and flight-test a 3-axis stabilization system to maintain accurate antenna pointing; and to conduct communications experiments in the newly allocated 14/12 GHz frequency bands using small, transportable Earth stations.
The satellite was designed and built in Canada at the CRC by a joint government and industry team of scientists and engineers. Use of the satellite permitted investigation of a number of innovative approaches to the delivery of new communications services and extension of existing services to remote and rural regions.
Hermes was the first satellite capable of broadcasting television and radio programs directly to inexpensive home receivers and was equipped with spot-beam antennae which could be directed to any point on Earth that was visible from the satellite. Hermes was built to last 2 years but operated for nearly 4.
Space Environmental Test Facilities
A transponder is an electronic device which receives a signal and retransmits it at a different frequency. Anik B, when launched in late 1978, thus became the world's first satellite to operate simultaneously in both of these pairs of frequency bands. Anik B was somewhat higher powered than Anik A and was 3-axis stabilized to maintain a precisely controlled fixed orientation in space.
Anik D Series
Anik C Series
Anik E Series
Search and Rescue
Another area in which Canadian space and related technology has pioneered is in the application of space techniques to assist in search and rescue. All aircraft in Canada are equipped with emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) which may be turned on manually or are activated automatically on impact.
Canada supplied the satellite transponders operating at frequencies of 121.5, 243 and 406 MHz, and designed and built the ground station for reception of the satellite-relayed signals. France provided the on-board signal processor and the US contributed the spacecraft antennae and tested, integrated and launched the SARSAT space hardware on board the NOAA series of meteorological satellites. The first launch of a SARSAT-equipped spacecraft was in Mar 1983; a number have been launched since.
In 1984 a memorandum of understanding was signed among Canada, France, the US and the former Soviet Union which established COSPAS and SARSAT as an interim operational search and rescue satellite system. Four years later, the International COSPAS-SARSAT Program Agreement was signed and is intended to last for 15 years.
By mid-1994, the combined COSPAS-SARSAT system had been used in over 1500 search and rescue incidents for the rescue of more than 4500 persons worldwide. The use of beacons equipped with GPS (global positioning systems) and geostationary satellites are expected to make the program even more effective.
Canada has also been involved in applications of satellite technology to REMOTE SENSING of Earth's surface. Readout stations are used for the reception of signals from various US satellites and other foreign satellites, and for ground-based processing of sensor data.
European Remote Sensing Satellite
Called MSAT, for Mobile Satellite, the satellite operates in the ultra high frequency (UHF) band at 1.6/1.5 Ghz. The satellite has been built under contract to, and will be operated on a commercial basis by, TMI Communications. A similar satellite to provide US coverage has been launched by a US company, and each of the 2 satellites will provide backup for the other.
Canada contributed the critical extendible solar array subsystem and certain payload elements, and had major responsibilities in the final integration and testing of the spacecraft. Spar Aerospace also supplied a domestic communications satellite system to Brazil, based on the Anik D satellites. Called Brazilsat, 2 satellites were launched, 1 in 1985 and 1 in 1986.
Space science activities previously coordinated by the Canada Centre for Space Science of the NRC are now the responsibility of the Canadian Space Agency. In a cooperative program with Sweden, Canada has provided ultraviolet imagers for the Swedish Viking satellite, launched in 1986 to obtain images of the NORTHERN LIGHTS, and for the Freja satellite launched in 1992. The Freja satellite also carried a Canadian-built instrument called the Cold Plasma Analyzer; the Swedish Olin satellite launched in 1997 carried a Canadian imaging spectograph called OSIRIS. In 1989 a Canadian instrument, the Suprathermal Ion Mass Spectrometer (SMS), was carried aboard the Japanese EXOS-D or Akebono satellite.
Canada provided the highly successful Wind Imaging Interferometer (WINDII) which was flown on NASA's Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite (UARS) in 1991. WINDII measures WIND velocity and atmospheric temperatures to aid among other things in monitoring stratospheric ozone. Several Canadian scientific payloads are being carried on board flights of the US Space Shuttle and a Canadian-built Ultraviolet Auroral Imager is to be flown on the Russian Interball satellite.
Canada continues to launch various space science instruments using balloons, rockets and satellite platforms provided by other countries as vehicles, and conducts various life sciences experiments using the space shuttle and Russian space station MIR. An atmospheric chemistry experiment (ACE) proposed by the University of Waterloo has been chosen by the Canadian Space Agency as the first space science payload to fly on the purely Canadian SCISAT-1, scheduled for launch in 2001.
A general purpose simulation facility (called SIMFAC) was designed, using mathematical modelling techniques, to verify Canadarm's operability in a zero-gravity environment and to train ASTRONAUTS to operate the Canadarm in space. While the arm cannot support its own weight on Earth, it is capable of manipulating a payload of nearly 30 000 kg in space, manoeuvring it at 6 cm/s and placing it in any position with an accuracy of about 5 cm.
The Canadarm was declared operational in Nov 1982 after having been flown successfully on the second, third and fourth shuttle launches, and having been used in manoeuvring and handling exercises. NASA procured 3 additional systems directly from Spar Aerospace. All have been deployed successfully on subsequent shuttle flights.
Mobile Servicing System
Canadian Space Station Program
Canadian Space Agency
In the speech from the throne on 1 Oct 1986, the Canadian government announced its intention to create a CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY(CSA) to incorporate and coordinate many of the space activities previously carried out in various departments and agencies of the federal government. The Canadian Space Agency Act was passed by the House of Commons on 14 Dec 1989, and proclaimed a year later. The agency's objectives are to promote the peaceful use and development of space and to ensure that space science and technology provide social and economic benefits for Canadians.
The CSA is responsible for the Canadian ASTRONAUT program, which manages the selection, training and space flights of Canadian astronauts. Several Canadian astronauts have participated in space shuttle missions: Dr Marc GARNEAU (1984, 1996); Dr Roberta BONDAR (1992); Dr Steve MACLEAN (1992); Col Chris HADFIELD (1995, 1998); Dr Dave Williams (1995); and Julie Payette (1999), the first Canadian to participate in an international space station mission and the first to board the station.
In 1997, while total revenues increased by 30%, export revenue increased by over 88% to $566.4 million. This figure of 45% of total revenue is unmatched by any other country. Satellite telecommunications in Canada accounts for 69% ($861 million) of total space activity, with earth observation representing 14% ($177 million), and robotics 10% ($126 million).
See also John Herbert CHAPMAN
Author B.C. BLEVIS
Links to Other Sites
H.R. MacMillan Space Centre
Check out "Sky Watch" and other astronomical highlights at the website for the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver. Also features online lesson plans for students and their teachers.
Canadian Space Agency
The website for the Canadian Space Agency. Check the menu on the left for the latest news, information, and images related to Canadian achievements in space science and technology.
All the latest news for the scientific community, including daily news from ScienceNOW and weekly news from Science magazine.
Curiosity Mars Mission
About Canadian instrumentation on NASA's Mars rover "Curiosity." From the Canadian Space Agency.
The Telesat Canada website offers the latest news and information about Canada’s Anik series domestic communications satellites. Features maps and other graphics that illustrate the role of satellites in global communication systems.
Canadarm - A Technology Star
This CBC website features amazing video clips of the Canadarm and Canadarm2 robotic arms working in outer space.
This site highlights one of Canada's greatest engineering feats, the development and deployment of the "Shuttle Remote Manipulator System," commonly referred to as the “Canadarm.” Click on the links at the bottom of the page to see a history of this project, illustrations, and technical details about the system's components and operation. From the website for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Canada.
Canadian Association of Science Centres
Click on a province to view contact information for member science education centres. See also the latest winners of the CASCADE Awards, which celebrate outstanding people, shows, and exhibitions in Canada.
YouTube: Canadian Space Agency
View the latest videos about space exploration on the Canadian Space Agency YouTube channel.
The Space Vision System
A feature article about Canadarm's Space Vision System, a device that was designed by Alberta engineer Dr. Lloyd Pinkney. From the website "Alberta Inventors and Inventions."
The latest science news from the nature.com website.
The latest news and events concerning space science and technology. From the Edmonton Journal.
Engineering in the News
The latest developments in Canada's dynamic engineering sector. A University of Toronto website.
Framework Agreement on Space Cooperation
A 2009 news release about an agreement concerning Canada - US space collaboration. From NASA
Ringing the World
A 1964 newsletter chronicling the development of communications satellite technology in Canada, including a satellite ground station situated near Mill Village, NS. From “News on the DOT.”
Canadian Chris Hadfield blasts off into space for 3rd time
A CBC News story about astronaut Chris Hadfield, the 1st Canadian commander of the International Space Station. See also media clips of Hadfield working in space.
Check out the latest news in space research from Aviation Week.
Canada Research Chairs
This database of over 1,800 profiles of Canada Research Chairs is an invaluable resource for those looking for an expert in the natural sciences, engineering, health, the social sciences or the humanities
Canada in Space
This site highlights Canadian achievements in space technology. From the Canada Science and Technology Museum.
An overview of the RADARSAT Constellation mission which is designed to conduct maritime surveillance, disaster management, and ecosystem monitoring. From the Canadian Space Agency.
Mars Science Laboratory
The latest news and images from NASA's Curiosity rover, which houses critical Canadian scientific components.
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...