Data and Time Oct. 15, 2012, 4:00-5:15 PM
Location Bahen Centre for Information Technology, Room 1180
Host Prof. George V. Eleftheriades

Small Satellites: Developments and Radio Communication Impacts

Jacob Gavan

Sami-Shamoon College of Engineering, Israel


A short introduction will describe the tremendous developments in satellites from the first Sputnik in 1957 to the mega-satellite Sky-Terra in 2010, their numbers, main orbits and the importance of the radio communication sub-systems. An extreme miniaturization as predicted by Moore’s principle enables the design and realization of high quality small satellites. I will discuss the classification, advantages and disadvantages of micro, nano, pico and even femto satellites, as well as their main applications. I will describe the pioneering developments of the radio amateurs –OSCAR satellites and ground stations, followed now by the design and development of hundreds of low cost small satellites by students all over the world. This has enhanced significantly the quantity and quality of the engineers and scientists in the aerospace and radio communication fields. In addition I will discuss advanced small satellites from selected projects for NASA and for special missions, as well as for main activities in the USA, Europe, Israel, Russia and China.

The seminar will conclude by forecasting the future of small satellites and an extended bibliographic list will be provided.



Jacob Gavan earned the B.Sc. degree from the Haifa Technion in Israel 1961, the MEE degree in the field of radio and satellite communication from Eindhowen Technological University in the Nederland 1969 through a Philips Company scholarship, both, with distinction, and the Ph.D. degree in radio communication in ENSERG Grenoble (France) 1979 with congratulations of the Jury.

Jacob main tasks were as RF technician and engineer for the Israel army and PTT in the construction of a high power broadcasting transmitters center. Jacob has worked 1 year for MASHAV training projects in Africa. Afterward, he worked as an ITU expert for the Congolese Telecom, and spent 5 years planning projects and training of telecommunication technical people. Following his MEE graduation he worked from 1969 to 1971 as a senior engineer for the IAI in Radio Communication, Control and Radar. In 1971 he was asked by the ITU to be in charge of operating a telecommunication engineering school in cooperation with the ministry of PTT and the local university, and was teaching radio and satellite communications. From 1972 to 1974 his function was head of the ITU mission in the Republic of Congo. From 1975 he has switched to the academy in Israel.

Jacob Gavan was elected as IEEE fellow in 1995 and founded a department of Communication Engineering at the Holon Institute of Technology (HIT). He was elected to Dean of the HIT new Engineering school and nominated as Full Professor. From December 2001 till 2006. Prof. Jacob Gavan lead the establishment and a MSc program in Electronic and Communication Engineering which now includes around 130 students.

 Jacob consulted several large Israeli and international companies. He has published over 150 papers as shown in his CV "Jacob Gavan" or in Google for Jacob (Jacques) Gavan.