Technion and IAI Co-develop New Satellite Technology for Search, Rescue, and Signal Detection Missions

August 27, 2020

Collaboration yielded an innovative electronic receiver and satellite computer for the ADELIS-SAMSON Project; Three nano-satellites to perform autonomous formation flight

A close technological and research collaboration between the Technion – Israel Institute of Tech-nology and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has yielded an advanced electronic receiver that constitutes a unique development in the nano-satellite category. The collaboration was part of Technion’s ADELIS-SAMSON project, in which three nano-satellites will be launched into space in December.

The three satellites, which will fly in an autonomous formation without human intervention, are tasked with receiving signals from Earth and detecting their precise location for search and res-cue, remote sensing, and environmental monitoring missions. The software and algorithms that control the flight were developed at the Distributed Space Systems Lab in the Technion’s Asher Space Research Institute.

The electronic receiver was developed and built especially for the ADELIS-SAMSON project by Elta Systems, an IAI division and subsidiary. The receiver picks up, identifies, and records sig-nals from Earth. It comprises an information processing system that calculates the location of the transmission. The miniature system was developed particularly for nano-satellites in order to ex-tend the scope of the missions they can perform. The system integrates with the three mission computers developed by IAI’s MABAT Division.

The ADELIS-SAMSON project is headed by Professor Pini Gurfil, head of the Asher Space Re-search Institute and a faculty member in Technion Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, with the support of the ADELIS Foundation and the Israel Space Agency in the Ministry of Science and Technology.

“We worked closely with IAI engineers on this development for more than five years,” said Prof. Gurfil. “The project showcases the benefits of academy-industry collaboration, which yielded an outstanding result in the form of an innovative space-borne system. We thank IAI engineers for their professionalism and commitment. The system we co-developed places ADELIS-SAMSON at the forefront of nano-satellite technology.”

“The new development will help promote a new space research area,” said IAI CEO Nimrod Sheffer. “Collaboration with the Technion and other academic institutions is invaluable to us, as it promotes academic research and our future technological ventures. The receiver developed for this project offers a new way for space geo-location of ground electromagnetic signals. It is based on IAI’s extensive engineering know-how and experience in satellites, electronic warfare, intelligence interpretation systems, and communication networks.”

In addition to Prof. Gurfil, Asher Space Research Institute researchers who worked with IAI’s engineers on the project included Avner Kaidar, Hovik Agalarian, Eviatar Edlerman, and Dr. Alex Frid.

The ADELIS-SAMSON project is supported by the ADELIS Foundation, the Goldstein Founda-tion, and Israel’s Space Agency. Other parties involved in the project include Israel’s Space Agency, RAFAEL, and IAI.

For more than a century, the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology has pioneered in science and technology education and delivered world-changing impact. Proudly a global university, the Technion has long leveraged boundary-crossing collaborations to advance breakthrough research and technologies. Now with a presence in three countries, the Technion will prepare the next generation of global innovators. Technion people, ideas and inventions make immeasurable contributions to the world, innovating in fields from cancer research and sustainable energy to quantum computing and computer science to do good around the world.

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