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And the Emmy Goes to...


Leading the way for communications to remote areas, the team that developed Canada's Hermes satellite won an Emmy for its contribution. (Canadian Space Agency)

Following up the success of the Anik A satellite, the Communication Research Establishment in Ottawa designed, and in 1976 launched, the Hermes communications satellite (820655*) from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It was the first satellite to use very high frequency transmitters (KU band), which allowed several television programs to be simultaneously broadcast to different parts of the country. The use of high frequencies permitted the use of much smaller receiving antenna on the ground - only 0.6 metres across.

The impact that Hermes had on communications in Canada's north was immense and gave northerners the same access to telephone and television enjoyed in the rest of Canada. Hermes' impact was not restricted to Canada, however - today, the most powerful communications satellites use the same technology developed for Hermes. In recognition, the team that developed Hermes received an Emmy award (870440) in 1987 from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Both the full scale engineering model of Hermes and the Emmy may be seen in the exhibit - the light- and heat-reflecting gold foil covering Hermes is reflected in the gold finish of the Emmy.

* The numbers in brackets are the accession numbers of artifacts held by the Museum.