Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum visited the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) to inspect the progress of the KhalifaSat project.
KhalifaSat is the first satellite to be fully built by Emirati engineers, an achievement that highlights the UAE’s growing expertise in satellite technology.
The satellite is set to be launched later this year, following a series of rigorous tests.
“Emirati engineers are the first in the Arab world to construct a satellite without foreign assistance. This is a major achievement that signifies the high level of capabilities UAE youth have acquired in space technologies,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
“The high level of expertise that Emirati scientists and engineers have developed creates a strong foundation for the future scientific and technological development of the UAE,” His Highness added. “We are confident that the nation’s space industry sector will continue its strong growth, and emerge as a key component of our economy. The development of KhalifaSat is not only a source of pride for Emiratis and Arabs, but also a global achievement that will benefit humanity, and offer scientific solutions for development globally,” Sheikh Mohammed further said.
His Highness was welcomed at MBRSC by Chairman of MBRSC Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Major General Talal Hamid Belhoul Al Falasi, and Director General of MBRSC Yousuf Al Shaibani, along with a number of senior executives of the Centre.
Sheikh Mohammed toured the Centre and was briefed about the advanced features of KhalifaSat, which include enhanced digital camera, satellite positioning system, faster download and communication, automatic satellite control system, and advanced target positioning system.
KhalifaSat is the first satellite to be developed in space technology laboratories in the UAE entirely by Emirati engineers. It is the third satellite owned by MBRSC following the launch of Dubai-1 and Dubai-2.
Once the manufacture and rigorous testing phases have been completed, the satellite will be transported to Japan for launch aboard the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries rocket – H-IIA.
When placed into a Low Earth Orbit of approximately 613km, the satellite will proceed to capture detailed imagery capable of competing with the highest industry standards. The images beamed back to earth by KhalifaSat will be among the most detailed commercially available, with a GSD of 0.7m Panchromatic, and 2.98m GSD in four multispectral bands.
The KhalifaSat project, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed in 2013, is part of MBRSC’s long-term strategy to encourage innovation, stimulate technological progress, promote sustainable development and create a generation of Emirati scientists and engineers who will contribute to a scientific renaissance and lead ambitious space projects over the next decade.
Once in orbit, KhalifaSat will provide detailed high-quality imagery for a variety of uses, allowing the UAE to provide competitive services across the world.