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Israel in space - a look to the future

From the book "Over the Horizon" - 50 years of Israeli activity in space. By Danny Shalom, 'Bavair - Aviation Publications' Publishing House

By: Danny Shalom

Israel's entry into the field of space was made hesitantly and amid many struggles both on the economic and operational levels. With this, the branching of activity and the increase in the number of factors involved in this field - in industry, academia and among commercial factors - guarantee that Israel will remain on the global space map in the years to come.

The areas of activity in the future will be centered around the following topics:

Intelligence satellites:Israel continues to improve the capabilities of its intelligence satellites, and in addition to electro-optical satellites, advanced radar intelligence (SAR) satellites will also be placed in space, which will allow Israel to receive information 24 hours a day about possible threats, or preparations for war in Arab marinas. The IDF and the security system will not be able to give up the service currently provided by the intelligence satellites. Because of this it is expected that generations of flaps of this type of satellites will be developed.

Tiny satellites:If the plans for the development of tiny satellites and nano-satellites in the aerospace industry, in Rafael and in academic bodies are realized, Israel may be a leading country in the field of tiny satellites in the world. These will be used for various tasks: from pure scientific research to military tasks including intelligence, destroying hostile satellites, warning satellites and more. Israel has the knowledge and ability to develop and manufacture satellites of this type as well as launch them into space with the help of Israeli-developed launchers.

Communication satellites:The launch of the communication satellite "Amos 2" in December 2003, was a continuation of the activity that began in the mid-nineties. It is expected that the next satellites will be larger and capable of transmitting and receiving a greater number of communication channels, television and radio. It is also expected that the next satellites will operate with special technologies designed to reduce the traffic volume of the systems without increasing or increasing the cost of planning, building and operating the satellites.

Sensing satellites:Despite the delay in the acquisition of the "Eros" satellite capability and the intention, which has been delayed in the meantime, to launch a constellation of eight satellites, the technological progress in the field of multi-spectral systems will lead to the design of impressive satellites with improved capabilities.

Cooperation in the field of space:Cooperation between Israel and many countries in the world in the field of space will also increase. Special relations have already been established with India and other countries in Southeast Asia. Russia, which launched four Israeli satellites into space, including two tiny satellites, a remote sensing satellite and a communication satellite, will continue to be an address for receiving launch services for civilian, and possibly even military, satellites of various types.

"wall" system:The development of the various components of the "Wall" system, including the "Hatz" anti-missile missile and the control and control radar systems, will undergo changes that will adapt them to action against long-range missile systems that are now being developed by the Arab countries, the first of which is Iran. The "Shihab 4" missiles, which will be launched from a range of over 2000 km, will penetrate the atmosphere faster than the first generation missiles, including the "Al-Hussein" and "Shihab 3" surface-to-surface missiles, and it will be necessary to intercept them at a higher altitude. New models of the "Arrow" missile are under development and these will have to give an answer to the new threats.

Space launchers:The activity in the field of space launcher development is not very successful, especially due to the fierce competition that exists for Israeli products in the world. Other countries, including the USA, Russia and France, have already noticed that there is untapped potential in the field of launchers for medium-sized satellites for LEO (low earth orbit) orbits. Various companies, including Lockheed Martin (which developed the "Athena" launcher), Orbital Sciences ("Taurus") or Aeroquot, the joint venture between Germany and Russia ("Rockot") and others, compete for the same market segment as MLM's "Leo-Link" launchers and the competition is not easy Even the resistance of the American government, under the pressure of the American manufacturers, does not make it easier for the Israeli company. Developments in the field of propulsion: Raphael and other parties are continuing their activities in the field of propulsion with electric ion engines and these will be used to propel satellites in orbit and will make it possible to extend their lifespan to a large extent.

Astronauts:With the launch of the late Ilan Ramon into space, which unfortunately ended in tragedy, the Israeli space community set a high bar for achievement, which must be faced in the years to come. The launch itself and the administrative and technical system that supported it - including the activities of SLA personnel, academia and industry in the field of space - encourage the desire to send additional Israeli astronauts to missions in space. We have no doubt that in the coming years we will see Israeli space pilots face the scientific challenge and return safely to the landing, in test missions that will be conducted on the space shuttle and possibly on the International Space Station as well.

Atmospheric research:Israel cautiously approached the space research fields, the culmination of which was the development of Tel Aviv University's TAUVEX telescope. This telescope is still waiting to be launched, apparently next to an Indian communication satellite and from this country's launcher, in the coming year. The field of space is a highly technological field of action and it is expected that in the coming years Israeli activity will branch out beyond the atmosphere and new areas of research and activity will be opened.

To purchase the book Tel. 03-9459976

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