The Anik Panic

Image Credit: L. J. Lanzerotti, Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, Inc.
On January 20-21, 1994 Canadian television, radio, telephone and scientific operations were interrupted when two communications satellites (Anik E-1 and Anik E-2) experienced operational problems, within a days time of each other, after being submersed in a cloud of high velocity electrons. The momentum wheel control circuitry in both satellites was affected. It took Telesat Canada operators 8 hours to regain control of Anik E-1 and many months to regain control of Anik E-2. The root of the problem has been traced back to deep dielectric discharges within the spacecraft circuitry after many days of being bombarded by dangerous levels of high speed electrons.

Last modified prior to September, 2000 by the Windows Team

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