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Thursday, June 20, 2013

College student saves IDF half a billion shekels

A college student/IDF officer has save the IDF NIS 500 million by figuring out how to fix remotely a camera aboard the Ofeq-5 satellite.
The events transpired a few years ago, but were only revealed on Wednesday evening, when Major Yanki was honored in a ceremony for Jerusalem College of Technology's graduates.

"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," recalled Colonel (res.) Shai Gilboa, then commander of the satellite's development team in the Defense Ministry and currently the CEO of the Jerusalem College of Technology.

According to him, all attempts to even understand the problem failed.

But Yanki, a new major, fresh out of the IDF's academic reserves, took all the experts to school. He devised a theory which determined the fault was due to erosion in the satellite's cameras, caused by temperature variations in space, and developed a model which simulated the necessary focus changes with the aid of a mathematician, a fellow colleague in his office.

But the Israeli space experts were skeptical. "All of Elop's (the firm which builds the satellites) scientists and engineers insisted it could not be," Gilboa explained.

"They said he 'solved a problem which doesn't exist.' But he was not deterred and stood by his theory until he proved it in the lab.

"In retrospect, it was found out he understood way more than they did," Gilboa jibed. " The theory was presented to the Defense Ministry directors and they were convinced to try and change the cameras' focus from the ground.

"To our surprise, it fixed the camera."
Read the whole thing.

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At 6:00 AM, Blogger Captain.H said...

Here's yet another case where the "Everybody knows _______" crowd of unimaginative, conventional-thinking people were proven wrong and one undeterred creative mind was proven right. Well done and High Fives, Major Yanki! I suspect we'll hear more of this bright man in the future.


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