Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) Space Division announced the completion of the development of Blue Sphere – a ground station for Satellite control and command, based on a new concept of cloud-based virtual control system. Operating the station using the cloud extends the satellite’s availability and releases the operators from their dependency on satellite passing times. With this new technology, the satellite able to transmit the information to any available ground station, anywhere across the globe. From this ground station the information will be sent directly to the cloud.
With this new ability, the satellite is capable of transmitting the gathered information to the cloud, allowing the ground station to push or pull the information promptly, independently from receiving stations scattered throughout the globe. This is a unique concept shaped by the IAI, developed in accelerated mode at the IAI Innovation center, together with the global startup accelerator Starburst Aerospace.
Shlomi Sudri, General Manager of IAI’s Space Division, says that the new Blue Sphere system promote satellites to a level of 24/7 availability. “The concept has been proven, and we currently develop advanced version of the ground station for our worldwide customers”.
New class of mini communication satellite
The new virtual control station will be presented later this month at the Dubai Airshow. Last week the IAI revealed its new MCS – Mini Communication Satellite at Dubai’s International Astronautical Congress. The MCS comes with digital communication payload and software architecture which allows for loading applications from the ground to the space, during it travel, in order to alter the mission according to the changing communication needs.
The life span of the new satellite is not less than 14 years, it weighs 650 kg at launch and includes a complete digital communication payload weighing up to 200 kg. Due to its light weight, the satellite can be launched together with other satellites, significantly lowering launch costs. According to Sudri, the satellite provides “supreme space technology for countries and space operators who doesn’t need large satellite. The new mini satellite establishes a new niche in the communication satellites’ world”.
The satellite is based on capabilities developed for the “Dror 1” project. At the start of 2020, the Israeli government asked the IAI to build and develop the Dror 1 satellite as the new national communication satellite for the state of Israel. The IAI’s Missile and space systems division is in charge of development of aerospace defense systems, including Hetz 2, Hetz 3, Barak 8, observation satellites, communication satellites, Nanosatellites and satellites launchers.