JERUSALEM, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Israel will launch a cluster of three nanosatellites into space on Saturday, the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) announced Thursday.
The three autonomous nanosatellites, developed and built by the Technion with the support of the Israel Space Agency, will fly in formation and monitor the Earth from space.
The satellites are planned to piggyback on a Glavkosmos Soyuz rocket from a site in Kazakhstan.
The nanosatellites will detect signals from Earth, using a mission receiver developed by state-run Israel Aerospace Industries company, and calculate the accurate location of people, planes and ships.
The signals will be transmitted to a mission control center located at Technion's space institute.
The cluster of satellites were designed to fly 550 km above ground, by utilizing autonomous communication and control, without needing guidance from the ground.
Each satellite weighs about eight kg and includes sensors, antennae, computer systems, control systems, navigation devices, and a unique and innovative krypton-gas propulsion system.
The satellites will also accumulate energy through solar panels that serve as wings, which will control, if necessary, the flight of the formation without the use of fuel, using air drag in the atmosphere.