The mission of the Asher Space Research Institute (ASRI) is to advance education, science, technology and engineering in all space related fields.
The ASRI operates with a broad national perspective. It fosters interdisciplinary work, and collaboration of Israeli researchers from all universities and agencies as well as industry. The ASRI also established collaborative projects with other countries
The ASRI was established in 1984. Its members are professors in five academic departments of the Technion (Physics, Aerospace, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences). It has a technical staff involved in the Research and Development of small satellites. The Institute is managed by a Director, under the guidance of a Management Committee, whose members are the Vice President for Research of the Technion, the Deans of Physics and Aerospace Engineering and the Institute Director.
In parallel to system development activities, members of the Institute technical staff perform, in collaboration with faculty members, research in various space related fields. Funding for these research activities is provided by different national and international organizations (Israel Academy of Sciences, Ministry of Science, US AFOSR, DIP), and Asher family philanthropic foundation.
The Norman and Helen Asher Space Research Institute has achieved global recognition – having succeeded in bringing space-related research activities to the forefront of science, technology, and academia both nationally and internationally. The Institute is now regarded one of the most prestigious research centers on campus – prompting dignitaries and other such high-profile Technion visitors to request access to the Institute. The work that their vision and passion has inspired will be evident in a safe, secure Israel in years to come. Nonetheless, in the 21st century, the Norman and Helen Asher Space Research Institute faces a multitude of physical challenges and space limitations that may undermine the Institute’s quest to accomplish vital strategic goals. For example:
Technion undergraduate students are expected to oversee the ongoing operation of the orbiting Gurwin TechSat satellite. To assimilate this activity, the Institute must undergo additional expansion and capital enhancements.
Researchers at the Institute will need access to state-of-the-art ground infrastructure and equipment (such as primary and auxiliary solar, fine optic, microwave, free-space laser communication, thermal and zero gravitation, electric propulsion test facilities), if they are to properly test satellites (i.e., simulating the widest range of flight scenarios possible).
To facilitate the development of cutting-edge space research projects, scholars and scientists must have access to highly sophisticated, premium-quality test facilities – ones that enable the assembly and integration of satellites and their subsystems, yield two-way communication with the Institute’s orbiting satellites, permit the reception of signals from some European and American satellites, and allow astronomical observations of the sky for research and educational purposes.
The inauguration of the Norman and Helen Asher Space Research Institute New Building took place 2009, 12 February. This is a milestone event for Israel’s space program – a step that gives Israel a permanent presence, however small, on the world stage of space science and technology. The new home of the Norman and Helen Asher Space Research Institute (ASRI) is an impressive structure: concrete and glass tied into an aesthetic and functional package. This striking building, with its physical presence and laboratories, opens new roads for the innovative work that will take place within.