Young Israeli officer trumps experts in fixing ailing satellite

June 20, 2013 at 3:06 PM   |   Comments

JERUSALEM, June 20 (UPI) -- A young army major in Israel fixed a mysterious fault affecting photo quality delivered by an intelligence satellite that had stumped experts, officials said.

"The satellite Ofek 5, which was in space for many years and supplied good intelligence, just started spattering and provided pictures in rapidly deteriorating quality until they were nearly unusable," said Shai Gilboa, former commander of the satellite's development team in the Defense Ministry and currently the head of the Jerusalem College of Technology.

All attempts to even understand the problem failed, he said.

While the experts pondered the problem, Maj. Yanki (whose full name remains confidential,) fresh out of the academic reserves of the Israeli military, suggested the fault was due to erosion in the satellite's cameras caused by temperature variations in space, and developed a mathematical model for necessary focus changes.

"In retrospect, it was found out he understood way more than [the experts] did," Gilboa told YnetNews.

The theory was presented to the Defense Ministry directors and they were convinced to try and change the cameras' focus from the ground, which proved successful.

"To our surprise, it fixed the camera," Gilboa said, noting that it saved the defense ministry $137 million.

The events occurred a few years ago but were only revealed Wednesday when Major Yanki was honored in a ceremony for Jerusalem College of Technology's graduates, Ynetnews reported.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
Whale spotted in Virginia's Elizabeth River
Curiosity rover escapes hidden Mars sand trap
Navy aviation tests combined unmanned, manned operations
Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg: I'll take the ice bucket challenge, and improve it
Latvia boasts world's first net for migrating bats
Trending News