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"Israel can and should be a world leader in tiny and low internet communication satellites."

This is what Prof. Haim Ashad, chairman of space at the MoLMDF and the originator of the Israeli military space program, says in an interview with the Hidaan website detailing the program and proposing to implement it in a way similar to the one in which the cyber defense system was established

Prof. Haim Ashad, Chairman of the Space Committee, National Research and Development Council
Prof. Haim Ashad, Chairman of the Space Committee, National Research and Development Council

The cellular coverage of the earth is excellent in the inhabited areas, but is completely lacking precisely where it is needed - in remote and isolated areas and in the oceans. The solution until now has been a satellite phone linked to massive communication satellites that are in orbit at an altitude of 36 thousand km above the equator. This is a very expensive solution and not one that can bring the good news of communication - telephony and the Internet to the masses in the developing world.

More of the topic in Hayadan:

The solution, says Prof. Haim Eshad, chairman of the Space Department at MoLMDF and the father of the Israeli military satellite program, is tiny satellites that cruise at low altitude, and enable a continuous Internet and cellular connection over the entire planet. Many investors show interest in this and Elon Musk's company SpaceX invests a lot in research and development. In Israel there is a concentration of knowledge on space and small satellites, as well as an entrepreneurial culture, so this is the opportunity for the Israeli space industry to break through in the multi-billion civilian space world.
"Already today, before the expected takeoff, communication services in space constitute a market of over 100 billion dollars." Prof. Ashad says.
Several countries are currently operating in the field of satellites. In the US, of course, capital is available (one billion dollars invested by Elon Musk alone).

The three biggest projects in this field are:

  • OneWeb that satellites be used to bring the Internet wherever it is needed and to provide connectivity during natural disasters. The venture's board of directors includes senior members from many technology companies, including Paul Jacobs from Qualcomm and Sir Richard Branson from Virgin. One of the partners in the project is Airbus, which will manufacture the satellites.
  • Led by Facebook: Facebook founded with the goal of providing access to the two-thirds of the world that cannot connect to the Internet. They teamed up with several other large companies including Ericsson, Samsung and Qualcomm to develop an integrated solution that would include aircraft, satellites and laser communication.
  • Google's LOON: Google launched the Loon project in which balloons will be used that will be placed above the required areas at high altitude - in the stratosphere. The idea is to create a network that will use the cellular frequency range and it will be possible to connect to it from any cellular device.

  • American entrepreneurs have invested in large ventures - Iridium, O3B and Orbcom, in the current "Iridium Next" venture, as well as in two other ventures - SpaceX's internet satellite venture and the OneWeb venture. In Great Britain, experience has been gained with tiny satellites, and France also provided government funding in the amount of 2.2 billion dollars for the development of satellites for the "Iridium Next" project. Italy also has experience and reputation in building O3B and "Iridium Next" satellites, but none of the countries has an advantage in all the required technologies.

Prof. Ashad enumerates the relative advantages of Israel when Israeli companies or multinational companies operating in Israel make it a world center for all the technologies essential to the world of tiny satellites:

  • Electronic chips - Israel is a world powerhouse in chip design, and large companies operate there: Intel, SanDisk, Broadcom, Marvel, and recently Apple also joined, not to mention Israeli companies such as Easychip and Tower. Ramon Chips, supported by the Israel Space Agency, operates specifically in the space sector.
  • Also in the field of communication, Israel is a world power in the construction of communication systems and building blocks for communication - companies such as Motorola, Cisco, Huawei (Toga Networks), Broadcom, Marvel, Texas Instruments and more.
  • In the field of satellites - the entire spectrum from the aerospace industry, Rafael and Elbit to the start-up companies in the field of "new space" and also at the Science Center in Herzliya with the Dokifat satellites.
  • Israel is also a software powerhouse - starting with Amdocs and hundreds of other small companies working on software issues in Israel.
  • Israel is also a leader in the cyber field - Checkpoint was founded by 8200 graduates and other technological units.
  • Also, many Israelis serve as vice presidents in multinational companies.
  • Some of these capabilities are implemented in the SpaceIL project.

Therefore, says Prof. Ashad, Israel can be a global scientific and technological center, and as a central channel for global communication it can create a strategic dependence of the entire world on it. Israel will also be a major conduit to the global cloud and investment in the field of Internet satellites can be a lever for global investments and the development of the future generation of Israeli high-tech.

Ashad enumerates the necessary measures: "In order to bring Israel to world leadership in the field of Internet satellites, government support and a corresponding policy are required, as well as government funding at a level much lower than that of Elon Musk. According to estimates, tens of millions of dollars are required for the development of the field, which will be given as investment funding and not necessarily as a grant. This is based on the expected return on investment."

"In addition, it is recommended to change the R&D law so that it fits the conditions of the space industry, as well as to establish a small and agile governmental authority or organization, which will operate outside the existing limitations of the ministries of economy, finance and science. Prof. Ashad suggests taking an example of this from the government's treatment in the cyber field." He concludes.

Google's LOON project

3 תגובות

  1. No one knows what the life-time of such a tiny satellite is (there is no ability to correct a course) so in my humble opinion this is a casual field.

  2. The nearby space has become a garbage can for anyone who can afford it.
    Someday - they will have to clean up this whole dump (assuming it stays here - and the rate of progress remains as it is today).
    In my opinion, it is better to do something on the planet and not continue with the current way of thinking.

  3. Funny, but what will stall this program like all its counterparts is precisely the system of media laws that in many countries (including Israel) does not allow free competition. The organizers will be afraid of confronting people like Carlos Salim, who amassed about 50 billion dollars with the help of exclusive control of the media in Mexico, dictators like Putin, Khamenei, etc., and countries with strong capital-government ties like Israel. Google's venture was able to create cooperation in New Zealand, period.

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