Israel Aerospace Industries Announces ‘Mini’ GEO Satellite

IAI Mini Communications Satellite. Credit: IAI

Article: IAI announces new small GEO satellite bus (

Jeff Foust with reports on an announcement made by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) expo in Dubai on Monday, October 25. The aerospace and defense giant showcased a new small GEO communications satellite, dubbed the Mini Communications Satellite (MCS). The MCS is small enough to leverage rideshare launch options (600-700 kg), yet boasts four steerable antennas with “a fully digital payload that can provide Ka- or Ku-band services” and a 14-year design life. Targeted at smaller operators, the spacecraft is expected to cost less than $100 million (including launch as a rideshare payload).

As more nations and international companies develop advanced space systems capabilities, the need to address space systems cybersecurity on the international stage is ever increasing. With a lower barrier to entry to GEO operations (MCS costs ~1/10 that of a typical GEO system), the cyber attack surface at GEO increases, potentially impacting critical communications networks that rely on geostationary assets. For example, a vulnerability in an MCS could be exploited to modify the frequencies the satellite operates on to disrupt communications of nearby satellites at the crowded GEO altitude.