By ARIE EGOZI
Tel Aviv: Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), has unveiled a new concept for a communication satellite by introducing the MCS – a Mini Communication Satellite. The MCS is an advanced communication satellite weighing roughly 700 kg upon its launch and includes a complete digital communication payload weighing up to 200 kg. Due to its light weight, the satellite can be launched together in rideshare with other satellites, significantly lowering launch costs. With an expected life span of no less than 14 years, the satellite is designed to provide multi-zone communication services to customers or countries with diverse communication needs.
The MCS was developed based on over thirty years of IAI’s experience with various satellites and on the capabilities developed initially for Dror 1, designed and built by IAI for Israel’s national communication needs. Most of these capabilities were developed in-house by IAI, including an advanced digital communication payload and “space smartphone” capabilities that provide the operators with flexibility throughout the satellite’s mission life. In addition, the command program and development architecture allow for applications loading from a ground station during the satellite’s in-space operation, to adjust and modify assignments in accordance with changing communication needs. The MCS is fully digital with a flexible communication payload & applications, has high performance and multi-band capabilities, with up to four steerable antennas, cyber protected, and has at least 14 years mission life. The MCS enables scalability, modularity, redundancy, and a short-term response to traffic demand.
At the start of 2020, the Israeli government commissioned IAI, Israel’s Space House, to develop and build Dror 1, Israel’s next-generation national communication satellite, in order to fulfil Israel’s communication satellite needs. IAI has invested extensive resources in developing Israel’s strategic communication satellite capabilities, including developing the next-generation communication satellite Dror 1 and other advanced strategic capabilities. IAI’s communication and observation satellites are leading in the development of state-of-the-art technology and know-how, experience, and expertise accumulated over decades of IAI’s activities.