Thursday, June 04, 2009

DubaiSat-1 satellite launching date, set

DubaiSat-1, the first satellite developed by a UAE entity, will be launched on July 25, marking the beginning of an era of space technology research for the country.

The remote-sensing satellite, developed by the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science & Technology (EIAST) will enable collection of space and earth observation data. Images from DubaiSat-1 can be used for applications such as urban development, scientific research, telecommunications and transportation.

With the launch of the UAE’s first home-grown satellite on board a Russian Dnepr rocket, the country joins a select league of countries that have made strong inroads into space research and technology, said Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, EIAST Board Chairman. “But more importantly, it highlights the achievement of UAE nationals in the cutting-edge field of technology, with several UAE nationals contributing to the design and development of DubaiSat-1.”

The result of a $50 million programme started two years ago, the satellite will pave the way for the further space projects “that highlight UAE’s thought-leadership role” in space technology research, said Al Ghanim. “We look forward to July 25, 2009, only 51 days away to realise our dream.”

EIAST, set up in 2006 to promote scientific innovation and advanced technology in the UAE and the region, is committed to positioning the UAE as a science and technology hub and establishing international collaborations and joint projects with industry and research organisations, he said.

Ahmed Al Mansoori, Director General and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, EIAST, said the project’s technological partners, Satrec Initiative of South Korea, supported the training and development of UAE nationals. He said DubaiSat-2 would be developed in the next two years. “We have plans to launch similar projects in phases. Following that DubaiSat-3 will be fully developed with the involvement of UAE nationals.

DubaiSat-1 is designed for a minimum lifetime of five years in-orbit operation, and has been tailored for earth observation and remote sensing. The satellite is capable of high-resolution imaging and is in line with internationally recognised standards in the field of remote sensing and civilian use of satellites, Al Mansoori said.

The satellite will be launched under the supervision and with the authorisation of the Russian Federal Space Agency through the Moscow-based International Space Company Kosmotras.

The launch of DubaiSat-1 consists of three segments — space, ground and actual launch. The ground segment comprises mission control station, image receiving and processing station, and antenna. EIAST is currently focussed on research in four areas: observation and fog forecast; use of satellite pictures in predicting sand storms; quality of water in the Gulf region - especially the effect of waste distillation in environment and marine life surrounding the oceans existing in the UAE; and ways to improve the clarity of satellite pictures. [via report]


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