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Success for the Israeli space industry in launching the two tiny satellites from India

CEO of Spice Pharma: "DIDO 2 is preparing for trials"; Ramon Chips senior: "We minimized all the electronics" * The two satellites have established contact and are working well towards the start of their operational missions

Launch of a PSLV launcher from India, 15/2/17 with 103 satellites on it, two of them Israeli. Photo: Indian Space Agency

Two civilian Israeli satellites developed with the support of the Israel Space Agency at the Ministry of Science were successfully launched into space this morning, February 15 at 6:00 AM. The satellites were launched from India on a launcher of the Indian Space Agency along with 102 other satellites from around the world - a world record number of satellites launched on the same launcher.

The satellites, BGUSAT of Ben Gurion University and DIDO 2 of the Israeli-Swiss Spice Pharma company entered orbit at an altitude of 500 km within a few minutes after launch. The Israeli satellites will be used by researchers from Israel and the world for research purposes of climate phenomena and medical experiments. The two satellites, tiny in size, demonstrate innovative technological capabilities that allow Israeli researchers to route their experiment and receive information directly and easily from the satellite.
Science Minister Ofir Akunis said in honor of the launch, "We are proud to see how Israeli research is taking off and are proud of the achievements of the Israeli researchers who developed two small and smart satellites that will help promote medical and environmental research for the benefit of all humanity."
Yossi Yamin, the CEO of Space Pharma, says in a conversation with the Hidaan website that the satellite has established a secret connection with the Earth.
"Currently the systems are working and the satellite is fine, including the temperature heaters. At Space Pharma, arriving with a satellite up and communicating is not the motto, but doing wet experiments in zero gravity conditions. We will know that in the coming days, as time goes by it looks promising."

The issue of communicating with the satellite is behind us, the satellite communicates up, down, and now we have to go into the laboratory and that's where the innovative concept of peace is." Yamin says.
Ben Gurion University also reports that BGUSAT, a joint project of the Aerospace Industry and the Ministry of Science, reached space and managed to communicate with the ground. And in the meantime it was announced today that BGUSAT is a pure blue and white satellite.
A dedicated computer was integrated into the satellite for the first time, specially developed by the engineers of the aerospace industry for nano-satellites, which incorporates a unique chip developed by 'Ramon Chips' and has computing capabilities similar to those of the large satellite computers. In addition, a dedicated camera, the only one of its kind, was developed at the Space Factory, in collaboration with the Microgeek company, which is capable of photographing a wide variety of weather phenomena in the short infrared range. The images transmitted by the satellite will be received by a ground station established at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev and the Aerospace Industry. Using the satellite's cameras it will be possible to monitor climate changes, gases in the atmosphere such as CO2 and after sky glare. The camera is able to distinguish these phenomena in a better way compared to normal cameras.
The satellite weighs 5 kilograms and is slightly larger than a milk carton. The satellite is equipped with special cameras capable of detecting different climatic phenomena and a control system that will allow selection of the photography and research areas.
Reuven Dobkin, a senior engineer at the Ramon Chips company, says in a conversation with the science website, that Ramon Chips develops ASIC chips that provide microelectronics solutions for environments with radiation. "With the help of technology, we built a number of products on chips. One of them is an image compression platform called JPIC and several units of it were flown in the Ofek 11 satellite.
One of our products produced in collaboration with the Swedish company Cobham-Geisler is a controller called GR 712 RC that can be programmed to operate electronic components. He did not fly into space for the first time - he has already been on several space missions for two years, including the Japanese Yabusa 2, which is planned to reach the asteroid and sample soil samples from it in 2018, and bring them to Earth in 2020.
"What is special about the BGUSAT satellite is that due to its tiny size - it is impossible to put a lot of electronics into it because it requires high power, something that a tiny satellite has difficulty providing. The satellite being launched today does not have too many electronics apart from our processor and it is a central processor that can be programmed like an Intel processor, transfer mission software to it and manage the small satellite."
"In order to manage large satellites, a larger amount of processors is required, but the size of the task is cheaper and there is also a need for much larger data processing than nano satellites. Now Ramon Chips is developing the RC 64, a processor with 64 internal cores designed for very efficient parallel processing. You can also put many of these together and they will talk to each other. If 712 is more for control purposes on the satellite 64 is much more powerful and is designed to do complex signal processing for example for communication and tracking needs. We hope it will be available already this year in the engineering sample generation and we will start its missions after we do all the tests in 2018-19"
The satellite will allow researchers to receive high-quality images, images that previously researchers had to purchase from high-cost foreign satellites. The Israeli Space Agency has allocated a sum of about one million shekels to finance research based on the images that will come from the satellite.


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