Solution to the Chaotic Three-Body Problem

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Solution to the Chaotic Three-Body Problem

Scientists find an effective solution for the centuries-old famous three-body problem in physics, and all related to a drunkard’s walk

The three-body problem is one of the oldest problems in physics: it concerns the motions of systems of three bodies – like the Sun, Earth, and the Moon – and how their orbits change and evolve due to their mutual gravity. The three-body problem has been a focus of scientific inquiry ever since Newton.

Star orbits in a three-body system

When one massive object comes close to another, their relative motion follows a trajectory dictated by their mutual gravitational attraction, but as they move along, and change their positions along their trajectories, the forces between them, which depend on their mutual positions, also change, which, in turn, affects their trajectory et cetera. For two bodies (e.g. like Earth moving around the Sun without the influence of other bodies), the orbit of the Earth would continue to follow a very specific curve, which can be accurately described mathematically (an ellipse). However, once one adds another object, the complex interactions lead to the three-body problem, namely, the system becomes chaotic and unpredictable, and one cannot simply specify the system evolution over long time-scales. Indeed, while this phenomenon has been known for over 400 years, ever since Newton and Kepler, a neat mathematical description for the three-body problem is still lacking. 

In the past, physicists – including Newton himself – have tried to solve this so-called three-body problem; in 1889, King Oscar II of Sweden even offered a prize, in commemoration of his 60th birthday, to anybody who could provide a general solution. In the end, it was the French mathematician Henri Poincaré who won the competition. He ruined any hope for a full solution by proving that such interactions are chaotic, in the sense that the final outcome is essentially random; in fact, his finding opened a new scientific field of research, termed chaos theory. 

The absence of a solution to the three-body problem means that scientists cannot predict what happens during a close interaction between a binary system (formed of two stars that orbit each other like Earth and the Sun) and a third star, except by simulating it on a computer, and following the evolution step-by-step. Such simulations show that when such an interaction occurs, it proceeds in two phases: first, a chaotic phase when all three bodies pull on each other violently, until one star is ejected far from the other two, which settle down to an ellipse. If the third star is on a bound orbit, it eventually comes back down towards the binary, whereupon the first phase ensues, once again. This triple dance ends when, in the second phase, one of the star escapes on an un-bound orbit, never to return.

Professor Hagai Perets (Left) and Ph.D. student Yonadav Barry Ginat

In a paper accepted for publication in Physical Review X this month, Ph.D. student Yonadav Barry Ginat and Professor Hagai Perets of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology used this randomness to provide a statistical solution to the entire two-phase process. Instead of predicting the actual outcome, they calculated the probability of any given outcome of each phase-1 interaction. While chaos implies that a complete solution is impossible, its random nature allows one to calculate the probability that a triple interaction ends in one particular way, rather than another. Then, the entire series of close approaches could be modeled by using a particular type of mathematics, known as the theory of random walks, sometimes called “drunkard’s walk.” The term got its name from mathematicians thinking about a drunk would walk, essentially of taking it to be a random process – with each step the drunk doesn’t realize where they are and takes the next step in some random direction. The triple system behaves, essentially, in the same way. After each close encounter, one of the stars is ejected randomly (but with the three stars collectively still conserving the overall energy and momentum of the system). One can think of the series of close encounters as a drunkard’s walk. Like a drunk’s step, a star is ejected randomly, comes back, and another (or the same star) is ejected to a likely different random direction (similar to another step taken by the drunk) and comes back, and so forth, until a star is completely ejected to never come back (and the drunk falls into a ditch).

Another way of thinking about this is to notice the similarities with how one would describe the weather. It also exhibits the same phenomenon of chaos the Poincaré discovered, and that is why the weather is so hard to predict. Meteorologists therefore have to recourse to probabilistic predictions (think about that time when a 70% chance of rain on your favorite weather application ended up as a glorious sunshine in reality). Moreover, to predict the weather in a week from now, meteorologists have to account for the probabilities of all possible types of weather in the intervening days, and only by composing them together can they get a proper long-term forecast.

What Ginat and Perets showed in their research was how this could be done for the three-body problem: they computed the probability of each phase-2 binary-single configuration (the probability of finding different energies, for example), and then composed all of the individual phases, using the theory of random walks, to find the final probability of any possible outcome, much like one would do to find long-term weather forecasts.

“We came up with the random walk model in 2017, when I was an undergraduate student,” said Mr. Ginat, “I took a course that Prof. Perets taught, and there I had to write an essay on the three-body problem. We didn’t publish it at the time, but when I started a Ph.D., we decided to expand the essay and publish it.”

The three-body problem was studied independently by various research groups in recent years, including Nicholas Stone of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, collaborating with Nathan Leigh, then at the American Museum of Natural History, and Barak Kol, also of the Hebrew University. Now, with the current study by Ginat and Perets, the entire, multi-stage, three-body interaction is fully solved, statistically.

“This has important implications for our understanding of gravitational systems, and in particular in cases where many encounters between three stars occur, like in dense clusters of stars,” said Prof. Perets. “In such regions many exotic systems form through three-body encounters, leading to collisions between stars and compact objects like black holes, neutron stars and white dwarves, which also produce gravitational waves that have been first directly detected only in the last few years. The statistical solution could serve as an important step in modelling and predicting the formation of such systems.”

The random walk model can also do more: so far, studies of the three-body problem treat the individual stars as idealized point particles. In reality, of course, they are not, and their internal structure might affect their motion, for example, in tides. Tides on Earth are caused by the Moon and change the former’s shape slightly. Friction between the water and the rest of our planet dissipates some of the tidal energy as heat. Energy is conserved, however, so this heat must come from the Moon’s energy, in its motion about the Earth. Similarly for the three-body problem, tides can draw orbital energy out of the three-bodies’ motion.

 
“The random walk model accounts for such phenomena naturally,” said Mr. Ginat, “all you have to do is to remove the tidal heat from the total energy in each step, and then compose all the steps. We found that we were able to compute the outcome probabilities in this case, too.” As it turns out a drunkard’s walk can sometime shed light on some of the most fundamental questions in physics. 

Click here for the paper in Physical Review X

 

Gazing Together Into Space

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Gazing Together Into Space:

Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and Israel Aerospace Industries to Collaborate on Student Project to Develop Nano Satellites

The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at the Technion has signed a cooperation agreement with the Space Division at Israel Aerospace Industries to develop and launch a nano-satellite that will enter low-altitude orbit around the moon and collect data using a payload of scientific instruments. The student-performed project will start in the beginning of the next academic year, in October 2021. It is expected to continue until it reaches completion in a few years.

L-R: Niko Adamsky, Prof. Tal Shima , VP and GM of IAI’s Space Division

IAI’s Space Division will assist the project in several ways, including, providing space engineers to help define, characterize, and closely mentor the students’ mission. Participating students will also be provided with tours of IAI’s space laboratories and facilities where satellites undergo experiments in an environment simulating outer space. At the end of the process, the students will be partners in launching the nano-satellite.

The joint project is the culmination of a faculty-wide process striving to balance two fields: aeronautics and outer space. According to Faculty Dean Professor Tal Shima, “while in the past only about 10% of the faculty syllabus was dedicated to space, over the past few years there has been an effort to change this and reach a more equal balance between the two fields. To achieve this. we updated the faculty curriculum and we are currently in the midst of the process of hiring new staff members with expertise in outer space. Cooperation with IAI’s space facility will allow us to expose students to additional joint projects with IAI focused on outer space. This is a fascinating field where activity in Israel and the world is stepping up and I hope to see as many students as possible focusing on it.”

“The project will allow students to become partners in a project with the industry and help them reach the end of their studies prepared to be integrated into Israel’s developing space industry,” said Professor Gil Yudilevitch, who initiated and leads the cooperation on the faculty. On IAI’s side, the project will be headed by the faculty alumnus Niko Adamsky, who today serves as a space engineer in IAI’s Space Division.

Prof. Gil YudilevitchDean of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering Prof. Tal Shima (right) with VP and GM of IAI’s Space Division, Shlomi Sudri

Shlomi Sudri, VP and GM of IAI’s Space Division said during the signing ceremony, “IAI is leading a process to strengthen cooperation with the Technion through a project for students in the field of nano-satellites. This will open a whole new world for them, a world that includes innovative system design. They will be able to gain experience in engineering a unique system in the field of space exploration. The dimension of space necessitates engineering and system capabilities with specialized knowledge. For the students, this is an opportunity to integrate into the field of space in Israel, to be exposed to the wide industry working on outer space, and to get a taste of the engineering and infrastructure capabilities that exist in IAI.”

The agreement was signed shortly after a delegation of senior IAI officials, headed by President and CEO of IAI Boaz Levy, who is an alumnus of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, visited the Technion and met with Technion President Professor Uri Sivan and the Deputy President of Research, Professor Kobi Rubinstein. IAI’s delegation also included Guy Bar Lev, Interim Director of the Systems, Missiles and Space Division, and VP and GM of IAI’s Space Division, Shlomi Sudri.

Technion President Prof. Uri Sivan said, “the connection between industry and academia is important and fruitful for both sides, and connecting with a significant and large entity such as IAI is an important step. The interface between academia and industry is changing fast and the Technion is investing great efforts in being established in Israel and internationally. We are working to promote close research cooperation and to turn the Technion into a hub for many diverse industries, a platform where industry and academia meet. We are quickly working to commercialize technologies that originated on campus. The past year has been a record one in establishing startup companies in the Technion. Another expression of the strengthening ties comes in establishing specialized routes for learning and vocational training for people in the industry who are interested in lifelong learning.”

IAI President and CEO Boaz Levy said “As an alumnus of the Technion, accompanying projects and different mentoring programs over the years, I am excited by the existing and future cooperation between IAI and the Technion. We must strengthen cooperation with the Technion, especially the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, which is unique to its kind in Israel, and which holds a leadership position among similar faculties worldwide. Increasing our cooperation with the Technion produces added value to both sides and will help us strengthen and integrate in creating groundbreaking, challenging, and leading technology in Israel and abroad. To this end, it is important we formulate together the image of the engineer we envision – an involved engineer with system-wide perspective and deep business understanding and research capabilities.”

 

Second Israeli in Space will Take Three Technion Experiments to the ISS

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Second Israeli in Space will Take Three Technion Experiments to the ISS

The experiments were carefully selected by a scientific-technological committee appointed by the Ramon Foundation and the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology; Eytan Stibbe is set to fly to the International Space Station in early 2022

Three Technion projects will be tested onboard the International Space Station, as part of the Ramon Foundation and the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology’s “Rakia Mission.” The projects selected for the mission were announced today at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation.

Eytan Stibbe (right) with Technion President Prof. Uri Sivan

Speaking in the name of all winning projects, Prof. Moran Bercovici of the Technion’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering said this is “an adrenaline shot – there are no other words to describe what this mission does to the Israeli space community. This is an extraordinary opportunity on every scale. The schedule is crazy, the challenges are immense, but we will make it; this is in our Israeli DNA, this is what we’re good at. I want to thank all partners: the Ramon Foundation, the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Israeli Space Agency and Rakia Mission’s scientific-technological committee. And a special thank you to Eytan Stibbe for his choice not to content himself with a personal experience, but to devote to science this amazing journey, on which he is taking us all.”

Eytan Stibbe with a lens in Bercovici lab

Eytan Stibbe, one of the founders of the Ramon Foundation, is set to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) in early 2022, as part of the Axiom Space Ax-1 Mission, pending NASA and Axiom approvals – the first mission to the Space Station manned entirely by private astronauts. This will make him the second Israeli in space, after Ilan Ramon, who perished in the Columbia Space Shuttle accident.

Stibbe is expected to spend 200 hours on the International Space Station. He will carry out several experiments, offering an opportunity for Israeli researchers and entrepreneurs to examine the feasibility and viability of initiatives, and to advance space research and products. The experiments were recently selected by a science and technology committee appointed by the Ramon Foundation. This space mission assists in overcoming one of the main barriers to entering the aerospace industry – the high cost of astronaut hours for carrying out the research.

Prof. Moran Bercovici

Three revolutionary Technion projects were selected to be tested by Stibbe onboard the International Space Station:

The laboratory of Prof. Moran Bercovici at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering plans to demonstrate the first-ever fabrication of optical components in space. The Fluidic Telescope Experiment (FLUTE) was designed and built by Dr. Valeri Frumkin, Mor Elgarisi, and Omer Luria, under the guidance of Prof. Bercovici, in collaboration with a team of researchers at NASA, led by Dr. Edward Balaban. The experiment onboard ISS will investigate the ability to leverage the microgravity environment to produce high-quality lenses by shaping liquids into a desired form, followed by their solidification. A successful demonstration onboard the ISS will pave the way for fabrication of advanced optical components in space, including the creation of extremely large space telescopes, overcoming today’s launch constraints.

Dr. Igal Kornhaus demonstrating the size of one CubeSat unit

The teams of Prof. Ehud Behar and Prof. Shlomit Tarem from the Physics Department, spearheaded by Ph.D. student Roi Rahin, are developing a gamma-ray burst localizing instrument – a device they named GALI. Gamma ray bursts are produced by exploding stars going to supernova, as well as by the collision of neutron stars. The same events also produce gravitational waves, bringing the study of the two phenomena into close association. The main challenge facing scientists is being able to localize in the sky where the gamma ray burst is coming from, which would then allow astronomers around the world to point their telescopes towards the event. GALI improves on earlier detectors by utilizing sensors significantly smaller than were previously used, arranged in an innovative 3D array. It is thanks to this unique arrangement that, while being much smaller than previous gamma-ray burst detectors, GALI promises to be more precise in its directionality capabilities.

Inbal Kreiss of the Ramon Foundation, Eytan Stibbe, and Ph.D. student Roi Rahin with the Tarem-Behar experiment

Finally, the Aerospace Plasma Lab, headed by Dr. Igal Kronhaus from the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, is developing a tiny engine for CubeSats – miniature satellites made of cubic modules 10 cm × 10 cm × 10 cm in size. Their engine, called “Inline-Screw-Feeding Vacuum-Arc-Thruster,” and fuel supply together are no bigger than a human finger, but can provide enough impulse to maintain a flight of satellites in a formation for months or more. The fuel, a small titanium wire, is safe to hold in one’s hand. The engine will be placed on the exterior of the International Space Station and be operated under conditions of hard vacuum and extreme temperatures.

Two more of the selected projects have their roots in the Technion: one comes from Aleph Farms – a cultured meat startup. Aleph Farms’ technology was developed b

The plasma trail of the engine in a vacuum tank in the Aerospace Plasma Lab (Kornhaus lab)

ased on Prof. Shulamit Levenberg’s research in the Technion’s Faculty of Biomedical Engineering. The other is by OncoHost – a personalized cancer treatment startup, based on research conducted by Prof. Yuval Shaked of the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion.

All projects must now undergo a rigorous design review process in order to be ready to launch.

The Technion Returns to Space

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The Technion Returns to Space

On March 22, the Adelis- SAMSON project – an autonomous satellite that will detect high precision earth-based satellites – was launched into space. This is the first simultaneous launch of three Israeli satellites. The project was developed with the support of the Adelis Foundation, the Goldstein Foundation, the Israeli Space Agency in the Ministry of Science and IAI

Technion President Uri Sivan: “Every time you look up at the sky, remember that the Technion has returned to space”

On Monday morning, at 8:07 Israel time, the autonomous satellite group developed at the Technion as part of the “Adelis- SAMSON ” project was launched into space aboard a Glavkosmos Soyuz rocket. The satellites were launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan – the world’s first spaceport, and the first site to send a human into space (April 1961, Yuri Gagarin). The Adelis-Samson project is supported by the Adelis Foundation, the Goldstein Foundation, and the Israeli Space Agency in the Ministry of Science, Technology and Aerospace.

Four hours and twenty minutes after the launch, the Adelis- SAMSON satellites entered orbit. Thirty minutes later, they “woke up” and began operating their systems.

Watching the live broadcast from the control center at the Asher Space Research Institute were Technion President, Professor Uri Sivan, Vice President and CEO Professor Boaz Golani, Vice President for Foreign Relations and Resource Development Professor Alon Wolf, Head of the Asher Space Research Institute  Professor Yoram Rosen, and the people who have been accompanying the project since its inception, headed by Professor Pini Gurfil of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering and the Asher Space Research Institute .

“This morning’s launch was accompanied by tremendous excitement”, said Prof. Pini Gurfil. “A basic study over the course of many years, combined with advanced Israeli technology, allows Israel to take an important step forward in the field of micro-satellites. You could compare the innovation of nanosatellites to switching from the computer to the cellphone. The Adelis- SAMSON project demonstrates a new concept in nanosatellites and will enable many operations to be carried out that have been reserved until now for large and expensive satellites. This is a leap in the field of miniature satellites in the capabilities of the Technion and for the entire State of Israel, and one which will make the Technion a global pioneer in the fields of location and communication, with diverse applications including missing persons detection, search and rescue, remote sensing and environmental monitoring”.

The trio of satellites will move in space in an autonomous structure flight, that is, they will move in coordination with each other without the need for guidance from the ground. The band will be used to calculate the location of radiating sources on Earth, a technology that will be applied in locating people, planes, and ships. Each of the three miniature satellites (CubeSats) weighs about 8 kg and is replete with sensors, antennae, computer systems, control systems, navigation devices, and a unique and innovative propulsion system. The satellites will travel at an altitude of 600 km above ground and will detect high precision signals from Earth. The signals will be transmitted to a special mission control center inside the Asher Space Research Institute. The mission receiver developed by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI).

“The Adelis- SAMSON project is a wonderful and exciting example of the successful integration of science and technology and the translation of innovative ideas into effective systems that contribute to humanity”, said Prof. Uri Sivan, President of the Technion. “Scientific and technological breakthroughs require multidisciplinary research and close collaboration between academia and industry, and this is what has led the project to this important day. Each time that you look up at the sky, remember that the Technion has succeeded again in reaching space”.

“The current project continues a Technion tradition that began in 1998 with the successful launch of the Gurwin-TechSat II“, added the Technion President. “That satellite operated in space for more than 11 years, a record time for academic activity in space. The launch of Adelis- SAMSON is a dramatic moment that we have been waiting nine years for and will follow closely. I sincerely thank our partners at the Adelis Foundation, the Goldstein Foundation, the Israel Space Agency and the Israel Aerospace Industries for helping us make this project a reality”.

The unique development of these satellites was made possible by an exceptional collaboration between academia and industry. A special propulsion system, based on krypton gas, will be the first of its kind in the world to operate on a tiny satellite. The digital receiver and the directional control system were developed at IAI’s plant, in collaboration with Technion researchers. In addition to the propulsion system, the satellites will accumulate energy through solar panels that will be deployed  from each satellite and will serve as wings that will control, if necessary, the flight of the formation without the use of fuel, using air resistance in the atmosphere. Each of the nanosatellites is fitted with one of the most complex digital receivers ever designed. The system for processing the information on the satellite and the algorithms that will keep the structures flying is among the first of their kind in the world, and support the simultaneous autonomous operation of all three satellites. The navigation system includes two GPS receivers for autonomous navigation. The system through which the three nanosatellites will communicate with each other, as well as with the ground station, will be operated at three different frequencies – a significant challenge that was resolved in the current project. A dedicated frequency will be used to transmit information to Earth through broadband.

Satellite control and propulsion systems are also a technological innovation. To save fuel, the satellites are aided by two natural forces – gravity and atmospheric resistance – and thus propel themselves. In this way they need a small amount of fuel – less than a gram of fuel per day per satellite. This achievement is the result of ten years of research that preceded the launch.

The monitoring of the satellites and the collection of data that will be transmitted will take place at the Adelis- SAMSON control station, inaugurated at the Technion in 2018. Built with the support of the Adelis Foundation, it contains an array of antennas made by Israeli Orbit company and will communicate continuously with the satellites.

In the words of Mrs. Rebecca Boukhris, Adelis Foundation Trustee: “For many years, space and space technology have been considered the domain of superpowers, and too grand, expensive, and complex for small countries. Israel has demonstrated that this is not the case, and it is vital that it is a member of the elite international space community. The rapid development of the space industry in Israel is essential. This project is unique for the Adelis Foundation in that it symbolizes the spirit, genius, and strength of Israel. In effect, it highlights the technological and scientific brilliance of Israel and positions our country on the world map in the field of aerospace, and all this on a modest budget within the university setting of Technion. The Adelis Foundation considers itself as sowing the seeds of the future and hopes that this project will be the first of many more. We hope that many other small and brilliant projects will take the Adelis-SAMSON mission as an example and develop a new ingenious space mission for the benefit of the State of Israel”.

“The field of nano-satellites has recently been booming and the number of launches is increasing every year”, says Avi Blasberger, director of the Israeli Space Agency at the Ministry of Science and Technology. “The cost of developing and launching such satellites, capable of performing a variety of uses, is significantly lower than those of regular satellites. In the near future networks are expected to appear to include thousands of nanosatellites that will cover the Earth and enable high-speed internet communication at a significantly lower cost than is currently available, as well as having many other applications such as the one demonstrated in the SAMSON satellites”.

“We see great importance in our collaboration with the Technion to promote academic research and future technologies in the field of space”, says IAI President & CEO Boaz Levy. “IAI, Israel’s ‘National Space House’, sees high value in its connection to academia on the business and technological levels to advance Israel’s continued innovation and leadership in the field of space. This partnership promotes the development of the entire ecosystem and IAI is proud to join forces in this innovative and groundbreaking project”.

Among the many partners of Technion’s Adelis-SAMSON project are the Adelis Foundation, the Goldstein Foundation, the Israeli Space Agency in the Ministry of Science, and IAI. From the Technion, many researchers from the Asher Space Research Institute participated in the project – Avner  Kaidar, Hovik Agalarian, Dr. Vladimir  Balabanov,  Eviatar Edlerman, Yaron Oz, Maxim Rubanovich, Margarita Shamis, Yulia  Kouniavsky, Tzahi Ezra, and Dr. Alex  Frid, as well as many students over the years.

Technion Returns to Outer Space

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Technion Returns to Outer Space
For the first time, three Israeli satellites will be launched simultaneously on March 20. The Adelis-SAMSON project from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology involves three autonomous nanosatellites that will fly in formation and monitor Earth from space

The “Adelis-SAMSON” project, an autonomous group of three nanosatellites built and developed by the Technion – Israel institute of Technology, will be launched into orbit on March 20, 2021. The project is the passion of a research team led by Professor Pini Gurfil of the Asher Space Research Institute (ASRI), and the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, with the support of the Adelis Foundation, the Goldstein Foundation, and the Israel Space Agency in the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The satellites will piggyback on a Glavkosmos Soyuz rocket from a site in Kazakhstan, and once in orbit, will be used to calculate the location of people, planes, and ships. The cluster of satellites will fly in formation in space by utilizing autonomous communication and control, without needing guidance from the ground.

The Adelis-SAMSON formation includes three miniature satellites (CubeSats), each weighing about 8 kg (17 ½ lb). Each CubeSat includes sensors, antennae, computer systems, control systems, navigation devices, and a unique and innovative propulsion system. The satellites will travel at an altitude of 550 km (341 mi) above ground and will detect signals from Earth using a mission receiver developed by IAI. The CubeSats will then transmit these signals to a mission control center located at Technion’s Asher Space Research Institute.

The nanosatellite

“Basic research over the course of many years, combined with advanced Israeli technology, allows Israel to take an important step forward in the field of nanosatellites,” explained Prof. Gurfil.

“You could compare the innovation of nanosatellites to switching from the personal computer to the cellphone. The Adelis-Samson project demonstrates a new concept in nanosatellite design and will enable many operations to be carried out that have been reserved until now for large and expensive satellites,” he continued. “This is a leap in the field of miniature satellites, in the capabilities of the Technion, and for the entire State of Israel, and one which will make the Technion a global pioneer in the fields of geolocation and satellite communication, with diverse applications including search and rescue, remote sensing, and environmental monitoring.”

“The Adelis-SAMSON project is a wonderful and exciting example of the successful integr

ation of science and technology and the transformation of innovative ideas into effective systems that contribute to humanity,” said Professor Uri Sivan, President of the Technion. “Scientific and technological breakthroughs require multidisciplinary research and close collaboration between academia and industry, and this is what has led the project to this important day.”

“The current project continues a Technion tradition that began in 1998 with the successful launch of the Gurwin-TechSat II,” added the Technion President. “That satellite has been operating in space for more than 11 years, a record time for academic activity in space. The launch of Adelis-SAMSON is a dramatic moment that we have been waiting nine years for and will follow closely. “

I sincerely thank our partners at the Adelis Foundation, the Goldstein Foundation, the Israel Space Agency, and Israel Aerospace Industries for helping us make this project a reality. “

2. Engineers & researchers from the Asher Space Research Institute at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology with the nanosatellites

“For many years there has been a widespread belief that space technologies – and space itself – are the domain of leading economic powers, and are out of reach of ordinary countries,” said Mrs. Rebecca Boukhris, Trustee of Adelis Foundation. “Today there is no dispute that Israel now belongs to the exclusive club of space powers, thanks to the rapid development of the space industry in Israel. Adelis-SAMSON is a unique project that embodies the Israeli spirit, power and intellectual resources. Israel shows its strength in technology and science and puts itself firmly on the world map of aerospace, all on a modest budget and in an academic environment. The Adelis Foundation sees itself as an organization that sows the seeds of the future and we hope that this project will be the first of many, inspiring other small and brilliant projects to lead Israel’s development in space and bring recognition to the State of Israel.”

“The field of nano-satellites has been booming recently and the number of launches is increasing every year,” says Avi Blasberger, director of the Israeli Space Agency at the Ministry of Science and Technology. “The cost of developing and launching such satellites, capable of performing a variety of uses, is significantly lower than those of regular satellites. In the near future networks are expected to appear to include thousands of nanosatellites that will cover the Earth and enable high-speed internet communication at a significantly lower cost than is currently available, as well as having many other applications such as the one demonstrated in the Adelis-SAMSON satellites.”

 

“We see great importance in our collaboration with the Technion to promote academic research and future technologies in the field of space,” says IAI President & CEO Boaz Levy. “IAI, Israel’s ‘National Space House’, sees high value in its connection to academia on the business and the technological levels to advance Israel’s continued innovation and leadership in the field of space. This partnership promotes the development of the entire ecosystem and IAI is proud to join forces in this innovative and groundbreaking project.” Israel’s next generation satellites resulted from exceptional collaboration between academia and industry. A special propulsion system, based on krypton gas, will be the first of its kind in the world to operate on a tiny satellite. The digital receiver and the attitude control system were developed by IAI in collaboration with Technion researchers.In addition to the propulsion system, the satellites will accumulate energy through solar panels that will be deployed next to each satellite and will serve as wings that will control, if necessary, the flight of the formation without the use of fuel, using air drag in the atmosphere. Each of the nanosatellites is fitted with a digital receiver, one of the most complex ever to fly on a nanosatellite. The system for processing the information on the satellite and the algorithms that will keep the formation flying will be among the first of their kind in the world, and will support the autonomous operation of several satellites simultaneously. The navigation system will include two GPS receivers that will be used for autonomous navigation. The communication system through which the three nanosatellites will communicate with each other as well as with the ground station will be operated at three different frequencies – a significant challenge that was resolved in the current project. A dedicated frequency will be used to transmit information to Earth through broadband. 

There are many partners in Technion’s Adelis-SAMSON project, including the Adelis Foundation, the Goldstein Foundation, the Israeli Space Agency in the Ministry of Science and IAI. From the Technion, researchers from the Asher Space Research Institute included Avner Keidar, Hovik Agalarian, Dr. Vladimir Balabanov, Eviatar Edlerman, Yaron Oz, Maxim Rubanovich, Margarita Shamis, Yulia Koneivsky, Tzachi Ezra and Dr. Alex Fried, as well as many students over the years.