Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1) today unveiled the development program of the new AMOS E communications satellite, which is powered by an electrical propulsion system. AMOS E will provide a broad range of communications services including TV broadcasts and broadband Internet. The new satellite weighs only 1.5-2 tons, less than half a regular communications satellite, and is designed to operate for 15 years. IAI announced today that development of the AMOS E has been completed but that the date of its launch into space has yet to be set.
In the first quarter of 2016, the AMOS 6 satellite will be launched, which among other things will provide services to social media network company Facebook. This satellite was acquired by Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd. (TASE:SCC), and only last week Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the satellite will be used by his company to connect people in Africa to the Internet.
The development program of AMOS E was unveiled today during the World Space Week Association Board of Directors Annual Meeting, which opened today in Jerusalem.
IAI said that the electrical propulsion system had allowed the weight of the satellite to be cut by half and unlike the other satellites it has built it will not be operated by a chemical propulsion system.
IAI MBT Space Division head Ofer Doron said, "The cost savings made during the launch due to the reduced weight of the satellite make it cheaper and attractive for customers interested in an inexpensive communications satellite with similar performance to larger and more expensive satellites. AMOS E has already aroused major interest among potential customers."
AMOS E is the first satellite that IAI has produced based on an electrical propulsion system although there are other such satellites on the market.
IAI is also working on other communications and defense satellites including the Earth Resources Observation Satellite (EROS) C, which will be launched in 2018 for Israeli company ImagSat. At the same time, IAI is moving forward with the lower-weight, higher maneuverability TESCAR radar observation satellite. This latter new satellite is designed to perform a wide range of intelligence gathering missions and is an improvement on the TESCAR satellite launched in 2008. In addition, production work continues on a satellite to supply customers with high resolution images of objects as small as 40 centimeters.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 12, 2015
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